Hawaiian Electric tests “charging-as-a-service” in transition to all-electric light-duty vehicle fleet

To optimize charging of its electric vehicles, Hawaiian Electric is partnering with AMPLY Power on a pilot to manage charging infrastructure for four of its vehicles, which are part of the passenger fleet that is set to be fully electric by 2035. 

The pilot program is unique in that it utilizes the industry standard of OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) to optimize vehicles charging on the system. Clean tech accelerator Elemental Excelerator, facilitated and contributed funding to the venture.

AMPLY’s Charging-as-a-Service will ensure that Hawaiian Electric’s four passenger EVs in this pilot are fully charged and ready to drive at the beginning of each day for minimum cost and minimum impact to the grid. The vehicles being used in the project are three Kia Niros, and one Nissan LEAF. Hawaiian Electric is expected to leverage data from the pilot to inform its electrification efforts for its five-island service territory. 

“Transportation accounts for nearly two-thirds of imported petroleum and discharges over half of our greenhouse gas emissions. That makes this pilot an integral part of our effort to transition our own passenger vehicle fleet to electric by 2035 and bring carbon neutrality to our islands by 2045,” said Aki Marceau, Hawaiian Electric director of Electrification of Transportation. “We look forward to working with AMPLY and using the data collected to encourage other commercial fleets in the state to transition to electric as well.” 

“We’re pleased to have Kia Niro’s supporting Hawaiian Electric’s plans to reduce its fleet emissions,” explained Sean Yoon, President and CEO of Kia Motors America. “At Kia, we are focused on offering commercial fleet vehicles that are both environmentally and budget-friendly while still being well-equipped with the latest technology and safety features. We look forward to continuing to support utilities like Hawaiian Electric in their transition to electric.” 

“The future of transportation is electric, and we are excited to help deploy projects that bring us one step closer to a clean energy future,” said Danielle Harris, director of innovation mobility at Elemental Excelerator. “This partnership with AMPLY Power and Hawaiian Electric demonstrates how we can all work together to create electric vehicle fleets that also help optimize grid efficiency.”

Certified by the OpenADR Alliance, AMPLY Power’s cloud-management software platform uses secure, two-way OpenADR communication specifications. With the software, the utility can turn the electric vehicles charging on its grid into a resource that can respond to load demands in real-time. Additionally, AMPLY Power can utilize optimization capabilities that modulate load demand to decrease energy consumption as needed and reveal targeted consumption points.  

“As OpenADR becomes more ubiquitous among utilities, and more fleets transition to electric, each electric vehicle, be it a passenger car or a bus, becomes an intelligent asset on the distribution system that can be controlled to reduce demand or supply other grid services,” explained Vic Shao, CEO, and founder of AMPLY Power. “We look forward to supporting utilities to maximize the utilization of existing grid assets and perform demand response for chargers to optimize grid efficiency.” 

Hawaiian Electric serves 95 percent of the state’s 1.4 million residents on the islands of OÊ»ahu, Maui, HawaiÊ»i Island, LānaÊ»i and MolokaÊ»i. The company is working towards the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, reaching a 34.5 percent consolidated renewable portfolio standard in 2020.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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