Electric Vehicles


How to procure EVs for DLNR’s light duty passenger vehicles?

All divisions can acquire EVs and chargers through their regular procurement channels.  In addition, DLNR, along with other SOH agencies and departments, is working to jointly procure EVs. This would make the process more efficient and cost-effective, and potentially bring more makes and models to Hawaii and expand choices for the general consumer. In addition, charger networks will need to be established, and this work is also being initiated. Ideally this infrastructure would be supported by PV solar, and other renewable energy.

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How to use telematics to optimize efficiency? 

To further increase fleet and fuel efficiency, DLNR could install telematics to track vehicle “behavior,” to determine where to reduce VMT, CO2 emissions, idling, and optimize speed, routes, and other efficiency metrics.  

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What is the state’s vehicle procurement hierarchy?

HRS 103D-412, Light Duty Motor Vehicle Requirements establishes a procurement hierarchy.  Divisions are asked to adhere to this procurement hierarchy, but employ internal combustion engine (ICE) hybrid vehicle procurement to lower emissions where there are no EV or alternative fuel options. Fully recognizing that there are no EV vehicle options in some cases, and where gasoline vehicles are needed, DLNR proposes to shift to ICE hybrid vehicle procurement. It must be emphasized, however, that buying ICE hybrids is only a temporary measure, until clean/renewable energy option vehicles are available in the market, at which point, provided EV infrastructure is in place, DLNR will make the shift to all EV purchases.

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How do we develop and deploy charging infrastructure for EVs?

There are two main EV infrastructure areas for DLNR to consider: those in its base yards for its vehicles housed there; and those out in the field, for vehicles to recharge. These in-field chargers may be used by the public as well, thus expanding the charging infrastructure available in the State, and helping accelerate EV adoption. The recommendation is for DLNR to work with HECO to determine optimal sites in base yards; as well as to investigate development of PV solar/community based solar as part of this installation, to support overall State clean energy goals. However, at field sites (such as state parks, harbors, other publicly accessible lands owned by DLNR), DLNR may do better to wait to install infrastructure, as HECO is planning to develop this infrastructure under the State’s RPS and PSIP mandates. Rolling this out in two phases may be the best approach at this point; first at the base yards, and next, in the field. For more information, find a helpful guide to electric car charging networks here.

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At this time, the market offers two charger styles that can accommodate the needs of DLNR at a commercial level. These two chargers are known as Level 2 (L2), and DC Quick Charging (DCQC). Both of these chargers vary in their initial startup costs, how many kW they can deliver, and thus their charging time.

What are Level 1 Chargers?

Level 1 chargers employ a normal 120-volt electrical outlet. This means it is easier to retrofit these into existing infrastructure (i.e. the home, the workplace). However, the low voltage means that charging up takes much longer (Plug-ins get an average of 4.5 miles of driving per hour of charge) and how long a full charge takes is dependent on the size of the battery. If the car is fully electric, charging could take most of the day, while a hybrid could charge up overnight. Essentially, it is important to consider the battery type, vehicle type, and the average trip distance before selecting this option. If trips are generally short, a Level 1 charger could suffice. For quicker charges, a Level 2 charger might be necessary (below).

What are Level 2 Chargers?

Level 2s are common commercial chargers that can be seen at grocery stores, shopping malls, and rest areas. These chargers work best with Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles as they offer less kW/hour. While this means longer times to charge fully electric vehicles they can charge most PHEVs at a scale of half-an-hour to three hours and twenty minutes. 

Using a Level 2 Charger provides 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging for an EV. Depending on the distance of the commute, it may take up to 8 hours to fully charge an EV. If EVs are incorporated in the fleet, this could still work well as these vehicles can be plugged-in overnight.

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What is DC Fast Charging (DCQC)? 

DC Fast Charging costs significantly more than a Level 2 charging station. The DCQC charge port is not a standard feature on most vehicles as well. Adding this feature to an EV can cost upwards of $700. While this system does have more significant start-up costs it can most efficiently charge vehicles, with less time spent charging. 

CHAdeMO is a quick charging method used by Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi. This type of charger can deliver up to 62.5 kW, charging a Nissan Leaf up to 80% in about half an hour. This method is compatible with DCQC systems. Nissan has sold the most EVs worldwide with its popular model, the Nissan Leaf. This car also appeals to buyers due to its relatively low price point. 

Makers such as Chevrolet and Volkswagen allow their EVs to run on the Combined Charging System or CCS. This type of charger can provide up to 350 kW through the DCQC port. The Chevrolet Bolt can offer a range of 220 miles off a single full charge. 

It may be best to pursue a DCQC system as it will become the industry standard over time. At the World Trade Center offices in Portland there are four dual-head DCQCs and one dual-head L2 charger. Established in 2015, this site has delivered more than 200,000 kWh and powered more than 1,000,000 electric miles. Mixing the two charger types allows for both PHEVs and EVs to charge at the same station, offering more options in terms of kW energy transfer and time spent charging. 

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What are some charging network alternatives?

A network is a company that supplies electric chargers. These chargers are employed by a company and owned by the network (i.e. Blink). They can also be purchased and installed by a company to be used at their own discretion. These systems already employ a system of payment and can be set up to take a paid fee or not. DLNR has investigated charging systems, but the market is changing rapidly, and any specifics here would not be useful. 

Some other alternatives include companies like Semaconnect and Chargepoint, which offer charging services to businesses, fleets, and individuals through a monthly subscription. It may be worth considering services like these to help facilitate the hardware installation, maintenance, charging, and billing processes.

What other alternative fuel options exist?

Fuels such as hydrogen and renewable natural gas may be considered by DLNR, but for now, these are in very preliminary conversation stages. For more information on alternative fuel options, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center page.

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How do we develop a carshare program?

Another option to owning passenger vehicles, especially if staff do “light” duty work trips, is for DLNR to develop a government carshare program with car manufacturers, local carshare, or a private rental car company. Government fleets are generally aging, underutilized, and expensive to maintain. The 2015 HSEO/ICCT report proposes that if State and County governments implement carsharing programs for public fleets, Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) will decrease, and average fuel economy of work trips will increase. The report also estimated potential cost savings of $78.7 million over three years, or $20,000 for each unneeded vehicle as a result of improved vehicle utilization. 

Several governments across the US have employed such programs, and found that they save money. If DLNR’s carshare program consists of clean cars (HEVs, PHEVs and EVs), it could reduce emissions, and put fewer vehicles on the roads. Such a program could help develop charging infrastructure, and be a catalyst for EV adoption economy-wide, as rental car companies turn over their fleets faster than local and state governments. In some cities in the US, carsharing programs are open to the public as well. This would allow vehicles to be used during non-work hours, and help cut down on the number of single-ownership cars. A more complete description of such a program is forthcoming, pending conversations with potential partner companies.

We are in the process of identifying carshare parking potential on DLNR lands through a parking inventory  that will assist with other transportation demand management policies as well.

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