In case you missed it, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran a fascinating story on Feb. 27 about the massive shortage of EV parking stalls on Oahu. It’s a problem considerably complicated by a 2009 state law (SB 1202) that mandates the installation of such stations in every parking lot in the state with more than 100 stalls.
“Roughly 70 percent of properties on Oahu required to have an electric vehicle (EV) charging station have not installed one, according to a survey conducted by Blue Planet Foundation,” the Star-Advertiser reported. “Since passage in 2009, the law has been ignored by most parking lot owners because of its lack of teeth. It does not assign an agency to hold the properties accountable, and there is no penalty if a parking lot forgoes an EV charger.”
The story was entirely focused on Oahu, but given that the 2009 law covers all of Hawaii, I called Blue Planet Foundation to find out what they found when they looked at Maui. If anything, the situation’s even worse out here.
“We found that there are 171 properties of public accommodation with over 100 parking stalls on Maui,” Shem Lawlor, Blue Planet’s clean transportation director, emailed me on Feb. 28. “By law these properties are required to “have at least one parking space exclusively for electric vehicles and equipped with an electric vehicle charging system” Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291-71 (2012). Of those 171 properties, only 38 are equipped with EV charging, meaning that compliance with the law is only 22.2% on Maui.”
That’s right: just 22.2 percent of parking lots here that should have EV parking stations actually have them. It’s 30 percent on Oahu, but barely 22 percent here.
By phone, Lawlor said his team had started their survey by using GIS layers and satellite imagery to identify parking lots across the island that looked to have more than 100 parking stalls–basically any lot that looked to be larger than 40,000 square feet should have at least 100 stalls, Lawlor said. Since he already knows where EV parking stall chargers are located (“We have really good date on where existing chargers are,” Lawlor told me), it was simply a matter of counting up the number of lots that should have EV stalls but don’t. But in some instances he couldn’t accurately estimate the number of stalls, so last week he flew to Maui to make a few physical site inspections.
“Condos and apartment buildings are exempt from the law, but hotels are required,” Lawlor said. “Condo rentals are a gray area. So we went to each one. Did they have a front desk? Were they marketed to tourists?”
There will be more detailed information about the EV parking situation throughout Hawaii coming later this month, when Blue Planet Foundation releases their study, Lawlor added.
Photo of EV chargers at the Queen Ka`ahumanu Center: MauiTime