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Hawaii Ahead of the Pack in Contracting for EV Fast Chargers
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Hawaii says it is the first out of the gate to award a contract for federally funded fast chargers to be deployed across the state.
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, or NEVI, offers $5 billion over five years to states to deploy a network of charging stations across the U.S. authorized by President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.
On July 11, in a joint announcement with White House officials, the state announced that Tritium DCFC Ltd. would provide all fast chargers for Hawaii’s first round of NEVI funding.
“The first set of EV chargers funded by this work is basically going to hit the ground in Hawaii,” said Mitch Landrieu, White House infrastructure implementation coordinator, noting the initiative has driven massive private sector investment. “So Hawaii, congratulations for doing that — you’re doing that with one of our great partners, Tritium.”
Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, said the announcement was the culmination of work by the state Department of Transportation with federal and industry partners.
“We at the federal level are very excited about the progress Hawaii has made in implementing NEVI,” he said, “and really getting us one step closer to modernizing the nation’s transportation system.”
He called it a milestone and said Ohio, Alaska and Washington, D.C., among others, soon would follow Hawaii’s lead in finalizing contracts to begin construction.
Ed Sniffen, DOT director, said two NEVI stations — one on Oahu and one on Maui — are slated to be installed and available to the public by the end of the year.
Pending environmental clearances, one is expected near Aloha Tower in Honolulu, while the other is slated for a park-and-ride in Kahului.
Additional stations are planned next on Hawaii island and Kauai sites.
By the end of 2024, Sniffen said, the state expects to complete all of its NEVI requirements, which includes the deployment of 32 chargers statewide.
The Federal Highway Administration approved the request in September, clearing $2.6 million in funding for the fiscal year.
According to Tritium, which is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, with a U.S. office in Torrance, Calif., DOT is using the initial round of NEVI funding to procure eight Tritium NEVI systems with 16 power units.
Tritium CEO Jane Hunter called Hawaii a “very special place” and a trailblazer in promoting sustainability, given that the state was the first to commit to 100% renewables by 2045.
The DC fast chargers are designed for a tropical environment, she said, and expected to be among the first funded and installed under the NEVI program.
“Hawaii is committed to leading the nation in our e-mobility transition and grateful for Tritium’s partnership in this effort,” said Sniffen in a statement. “We’re confident that Tritium’s chargers will provide the fast and reliable service Hawaii needs as we bolster our EV infrastructure statewide.”
Hawaii has the second-highest EV adoption rate in the nation, behind California, according to DOT.
DOT’s contractor, Sustainability Partners, a public benefit company, will help purchase, operate and maintain the chargers.
Sniffen said the NEVI fast charger stations will not be free and that rate structures are still being worked out. A map of NEVI charger locations will be posted online.
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