Volta to expand free electric charging stations

Ulupono Initiative investing $175,000 to more than double current network

 UPDATED 11:43 AM HST Jul 02, 2013
HONOLULU -

Ulupono Initiative announced Tuesday it has invested $175,000 in Volta Industries to help expand its Hawaii network of electric vehicle charging stations.

This investment will help Volta more than double its current network in Hawaii with 15 new free-to-use charging stations planned for 2013 statewide.  To date, Volta and its sponsors have given away more than 120,000 miles of free charging to Hawaii EV drivers.

"Mass adoption of electric vehicles has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuels imported to Hawaii for passenger cars and trucks," said Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative.  "One of the most important reasons consumers say they don’t choose EVs is concern about their limited range. Increasing the number of stations statewide means more consumers will be able to easily charge their vehicles and avoid range anxiety. This investment will increase the total number of EV charging stations in the state by 6 percent and help support an estimated 2,500 electric vehicles projected on Hawaii's roads by the end of this year. By increasing adoption of EVs, we’re helping achieve our goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil with more efficient technology."

Volta designs, installs and maintains public EV charging networks, and provides the energy to the EV driver, all free-of-cost to both the driver and the community.  Companies sponsor each Volta station -- providing free EV charging as a service to the community.  The stations are designed and built by Volta and provide approximately 15 to 20 miles worth of range per hour of charging.

"Currently we have 14 active charging stations with another 15 in the pipeline on Oahu and Maui, all of which help facilitate the adoption of this clean technology," said Scott Mercer, Volta CEO and Co-founder.  "With the investment funds, we can speed up our plans to expand our network to reach more EV owners statewide."

"We want this to create a greater impact than just providing a service to EV drivers," said Steve Markowitz, Volta Vice Chairman.  "Our goal is to excite people about electric vehicles and clean-tech in general."

Electric vehicle sales have been strong in Hawaii; the state saw the highest per-capita sales of electric vehicles in the nation in 2011.  There are 1,437 electric cars registered on Oahu, according to state figures as of May 2013.

To compare the efficiency of electric vehicles to conventional vehicles, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has tracked mileage for the last two decades in Hawaii and estimated an average of 19 miles per gallon in 2011.  The average mile per gallon equivalent for electric vehicles now on the road ranges from 90 to 115.

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