Electric vehicle owners seeking more stations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Electric vehicle owners seeking more stations

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Charging is a way of life for Lucia Seale and her hybrid electric vehicle.

"I embrace every little thing I can do for the environment," said Lucia Seale, electric vehicle owner.

That's because she can't charge at home because her condo building doesn't have a station.

"I depend on the public availability to charge my car," said Seale.

Like many of the thousands of EV owners she wishes there were more stations.  A law forcing parking lots with 100 stalls to have stations passed, but it didn't have any power because there is no penalty for noncompliance.  A proposal to fine property owners who break the law failed last session.

Bill Markevitch was the first electric vehicle owner in Hawaii. He thought there would be more charging stations at this point.

"Absolutely. Yes definitely, especially the bigger places like Costco's and Wal-Mart's. I really expected them to jump on the bandwagon earlier," said Markevitch.

"It's a balance. I don't want to force my choice an electric car on other land owners and make it too much of an onerous responsibility," said Michael Tepper, electric vehicle owner.

Companies like Volta will pay to install the stations and even reimburse some or all of your electric bill.  Still property owners have to dedicate stalls to electric vehicles and those stalls sometimes go unused.

"The downside mainly is when you are a parking garage and you sell parking, you're limiting the amount of money you are going to earn," said Andrew Friedlander, Colliers International Principal Broker. "It's good for the electric vehicles, it's good for the environment, I'm all in favor of it, but you're being forced to do it by government."

Hawaii has the most electric vehicles in the country per capita and it's expected to climb.  We'll see if the number of charging stations goes up as well.

Electric vehicle owners get a lot of other perks besides free charging.  They don't have to pay for metered parking and can use the high occupancy vehicle lane with only one person.