Hawaiian Electric adds new features to mobile app, including location of EV fast chargers

This story appeared in Pacific Business News on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Honolulu-based utility Hawaiian Electric has added a number of new features to its mobile app for smart phones including a tool that shows the location of electric vehicle fast chargers.

Other new functions include direct access to electric bills and the ability to start, stop or move electric services. The new features are available to all customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

Hawaiian Electric currently owns and operates a network of 13 fast chargers across its service territory. The new app feature allows EV owners to find nearby chargers and receive driving instructions.

In a recent interview with PBN, Brennon Morioka, general manager of electrification of transportation at Hawaiian Electric, said that the utility plans to add another four fast chargers this year and maybe four to five next year.

The utility has approval from the state Public Utilities Commission to install a total of 25 fast chargers across its service territory.

In its statement, the company identified Waimalu, Oahu; Punaluu, Big Island; and Kaunakaki, Molokai as the next expansion areas for its EV charging network.

Hawaii has the second highest EV adoption rate per capita in the nation, trailing only California. According to recent state data, 7,650 fully electric passenger vehicles were registered in Hawaii last month.

Hawaiian Electric launched its app in July 2017. Over the past year, the company said it recorded over 10,000 downloads on iOS and over 4,000 on Android.

Hurricane Lane, which led to severe flooding in some parts of Big Island last month, caused a spike in app downloads. According to Hawaiian Electric, the number of downloads increased more than 10-fold month over month.

The app allowed customers to view and report power outages as well as receive alerts on utility work or weather-related events.