08/10/2018

Steering the way to EVs

This story appeared in Pacific Business News on Friday, August 10, 2018

Brennon Morioka is the general manager of electrification of transportation at Hawaiian Electric. In his position, Morioka is in charge of the utility’s efforts to accelerate the adoption and strategic transition of Hawaii’s transportation sector from fossil fuels to electricity.

The former deputy executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency in charge of Honolulu’s beleaguered 20-mile rail project, joined Hawaiian Electric in July 2017.

The transportation sector is expected to play an integral part in the state’s transition toward 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Electric vehicles, often described as batteries on wheels, could be used to balance grid load, which becomes increasingly challenging given the rising number of distributed energy resources.

According to the utility’s “Electrification of Transportation — Strategic Roadmap,” which was submitted to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in March, Hawaiian Electric anticipates that by 2045 more than 50 percent of all vehicles on Hawaii’s roads will be powered by electricity.

Hawaii is trailing only California when it comes to the EV adoption rate per capita, however, to date EVs account for less than 1 percent of all passenger vehicles in the state.

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