07/06/2020

Student inspires added EV charging stations at UH Hilo

This article was originally published by the University of Hawai'i News on July 6, 2020.

charging station team
The UH Hilo Auxiliary Services team installed new electric vehicle charging stations this summer. From left, Kyle Tsuda, William Walters and Shannon Asejo

An initiative inspired by University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo business student Raiatea Arcuri has resulted in the addition of eight new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the Hawaiʻi Island campus. The new stations were installed this summer and brings UH Hilo’s total to 10 which will help address high demand.

UH Hilo’s Auxiliary Services and the UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) collaborated to bring this project to fruition. Arcuri was UHHSA vice president before he graduated in May and spearheaded discussions to expand EV charging stations and upgrade chargers from 120-volt Level 1 to 240-volt Level 2.

Raiatea Arcuri
Raiatea Arcuri

The time required to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery using a Level 1, is 17 to 25 hours as opposed to four to five hours using a Level 2. Arcuri proposed the project to UHHSA and successfully obtained approval from its members to fund the purchase of eight Level 2 chargers.

“We thank UHHSA for their initiative in pushing this project forward,” said Kalei Rapoza, UH Hilo interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs. “The ideas of our students in improving campus is important. I am happy that we were able to collaborate on this idea, and look forward to future collaborations.”

According to the State Energy Office, installing an EV charging station can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 per station. But UH Hilo electrician Shannon Asejo came up with a plan to install the new stations for much less. He selected locations based on the closest access to existing electrical supply infrastructure to minimize the length of conduit trenching required to each station.

EV charging stations are now installed throughout UH Hilo, two of each are at the following campus locations:

  • Sciences and Technology Building
  • Old gym
  • Auxiliary Services, near chiller building
  • Zone 2 parking lot, near bookstore
  • Haleʻōlelo, College of Hawaiian Language