Hawaiian Electric gets green light for pilot program that aims to expand electric bus fleets

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electric bus demonstration

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Electric is moving forward with its “eBus Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot Project” that aims to encourage more electric bus fleets by helping bus operators reduce the upfront cost of installing charging equipment.

The project was recently approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

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Under the pilot program, Hawaiian Electric will install “make-ready” infrastructure that will support up to 20 electric bus charging ports at five to 10 qualifying customer sites over three years on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

The company will cover the costs and manage equipment construction. The customers will need to install and maintain the charging station(s), the cost of the electricity used, and procure the electric buses.

“With Hawai‘i committed to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2045 it’s important that we
move aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ground transportation,” said Aki
Marceau, director of electrification of transportation at Hawaiian Electric. “As a rider of
Honolulu’s public bus system, I recognize firsthand that electrifying our bus fleets will allow
everyone access to the health, environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles.”

Hawaiian Electric expects to begin accepting applications from prospective participants by January 2022. Bus operators that meet specific eligibility criteria will be able to enroll in the program. The company anticipates that the local electric bus market will grow over the next 12 to 15
years. The pilot will be used to inform the design of a potential full-scale program.

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