August 9th, 2016
Blue Planet Foundation is working closely with a major carsharing provider and a number of local partners to develop an electric vehicle (EV) carsharing pilot project for residential and commercial properties on Oahu. The nonprofit organization is seeking over $3 million in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Energy to support the project, which will aim to deploy 60-70 EV carsharing vehicles and an equal number of charging stations across 15-20 properties in Honolulu. Each charging station would include two charging ports, one for the carshare vehicles and the other for common area charging.
Carsharing is a self-service car rental model that enables participants to rent vehicles for short periods of time, often by the hour, offering a smart mobility and convenient transportation alternative. Studies have shown that carsharing leads to meaningful reductions in the number of cars on the road, vehicle miles traveled, and gasoline consumption. A 2010 report on the impact of a carsharing program in Philadelphia showed that each carshare vehicle took 15.3 cars off the road, eliminated over 2,500 gallons of gasoline usage, and reduced driving by nearly 60,000 miles per year.
In addition to giving Honolulu residents an enhanced clean transportation alternative with the carsharing vehicles, the project would help Honolulu condominium and apartment buildings install EV charging infrastructure and would make charging ports available for residential use. “Many property owners are facing increasing pressure to install EV charging from their residents who have purchased EVs or who are looking to do so in the near future,” stated Shem Lawlor, Blue Planet Foundation’s Clean Transportation Director. “In fact, ownership of electric vehicles is growing faster than any other type of vehicle, and they are a key component of our 100% clean energy future.”
The need for additional charging infrastructure also extends to commercial properties. The carsharing pilot would help commercial or mixed-use properties comply with the state law that requires properties with over 100 public stalls to provide at least one stall with an electric charging station. The project offers an excellent opportunity for parking structures with over 100 stalls to ensure compliance with the state law and avoid any possible future penalties for noncompliance.
Blue Planet Foundation estimates that the pilot’s carsharing vehicles and accompanying charging infrastructure could lead to a reduction of 600 to 700 personal vehicles from Honolulu’s roads, eliminate over 3 million vehicle miles traveled, and displace 160,000 gallons of gasoline annually by the end of the three-year project.
Blue Planet is looking for property owners and managers of commercial and residential properties who are interested in participating in the pilot project. Interested property owners are encouraged to contact Blue Planet at [email protected] or by calling (808) 954-6143. If funded, the project is expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2017.
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