Tag Archives: ChargePoint

Hawaii’s First Charging Station

Green Energy OutletIt's the classic "chicken or the egg" problem. Which came first? Is it the electric car or the charging stations? As Mike Leone of HIEV explains, customers are weary of buying an electric car because of the lack of charging stations and businesses are hesitant to install charging stations because there are so few electric cars. Enter into the picture, Frank Rogers of Green Energy Outlet (GEO). Together with Leone, they install solar panels on the roof of GEO, tie it into the electric grid and install the first ChargePoint smart plug-in for recharging. It's the first in Hawaii and the first of a wave of charging stations that, if you imagine one-day, being as easily accessible as gas stations currently are. The idea is that these charging stations can be anywhere the electric grid is. These can be installed in parking lots, gas stations and businesses. A driver simply pulls up to one of them and plugs in their car. Understandably the adoption rate is slow. You can think of it like when we went from horse and buggy to the automobile. (I'm too young but I can image.) The infrastructure to install a gas pump must have been substantial. Each gas station requires a huge tank to be buried and the plumbing installed necessary to dispense the gasoline. Now look at the proliferation of gas stations, there's one on and across every street. It will one day be the same way with charging stations, if of course the electric car takes off. That may still be a ways off. Hybrids extend the life of gasoline as a portable fuel source. Cars like the Toyota Prius recharge their batteries through regenerative braking and the gasoline engine. They never need to be plugged in. The major auto manufacturers have put so much development into the gasoline powered car it will be some time before they transition completely away from that fuel source. Honda has hinted about a 100% electric vehicle (EV) to be available in 2015. So perhaps by mid-decade we will start to see a sea change of EV automobiles on road. Nevertheless, this charging station at GEO is a significant first step in the right direction. Hats off to the pioneers like Mike Leone and Frank Rogers who are bold enough to make their vision real.