Smart Charge Hawaiʻi launches in effort to help EV drivers optimize charging : Maui Now

File photo Courtesy: Hawaiian Electric

Hawaiian Electric is partnering with global electric vehicle software provider ev.energy to offer customers a smart charging mobile app that will enable EV drivers to optimize their charging sessions while helping inform Hawaiian Electric’s development of future charging programs and EV-specific rate options.

Customers who enroll in the Smart Charge Hawaiʻi pilot will have the choice of receiving an incentive of either $150 in cash or 10,000 HawaiianMiles under Hawaiian Airlines’ frequent flyer program.

Ulupono Initiative provided funding support for the program, which is available to up to 2,000 residential customers with EVs on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island and in Maui County.

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As part of their participation, customers will be given access to ev.energy’s mobile app that provides EV drivers with the ability to track their EV charging costs and consumption at home and on the go. The app includes smart charging features such as automated low carbon charging for customers with rooftop solar.

“For me and other EV owners Smart Charge Hawaiʻi gives us a tool to manage our charging so we remember to power our cars when the when the sun is shining,” said Aki Marceau, Hawaiian Electric’s director of electrification of transportation. “It also helps Hawaiian Electric understand how to better serve current and future customers with electric vehicles. We hope to create a system that allows for our communities to easily take advantage of all the renewable energy on Hawaiian Electric’s grid, a critical step to meeting Hawaiʻi’s 2045 zero emissions goals.”

Smart Charge Hawaiʻi was approved by regulators and developed with input from stakeholders involved in electric transportation, including members of the Drive Electric Hawaiʻi network.

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Through the collaboration it became clear that charging analytics could help identify customer charging patterns and allow Hawaiian Electric and other stakeholders to operate more effectively in their support of EV charging.

By helping to accelerate broader EV deployment, Smart Charge Hawaii supports electrification of the state’s transportation sector. Increasing EV energy demand is expected to result in net benefits for all customers as the utilities’ fixed costs for generating and distributing energy are spread across a broader base, thereby lowering the cost to all customers.

“The Smart Charge Hawaiʻi pilot is a great example of how collaboration between stakeholders can lead to effective solutions that give users deeper insights into EV charging behavior and, as a result, empowers pilot participants to make decisions that save money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael Colon Ulupono Initiative’s energy director.

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“Hawaii is a global leader on net zero and beneficial electrification,” said Joseph Vellone, head of North America for ev.energy. “We’re proud to partner with Hawaiian Electric on Smart Charge Hawaiʻi, which is a key building block toward a future of clean, affordable transportation for everyone.”

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