Electric Bus (eBus) Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot Project (Docket No. 2020-0098)

Posted on Dec 21, 2020 in Hot Topics, Key Dockets

The State of Hawai’i is committed to net negative carbon emissions by 2045.

The purpose of the proposed eBus Pilot is three-fold fold:
A. Develop ways for Hawaiian Electric to support make-ready infrastructure,
B. Enable and accelerate the electrification of bus fleets in Hawaiian Electric service territories, and
C. Improve renewable energy integration through bus charging on the eBus tariff.

The Pilot aims to serve at least 20 charging stations that serve at least 20 buses across the City and County of Honolulu, Maui and Hawai’i Counties. The Pilot will extend over a three-year period and examine the real costs and timeframe for make-ready infrastructure deployment, and customer needs and behaviors. Hawaiian Electric Companies intend to use the results of the Pilot to inform the design of a full-scale program.

The Division of Consumer Advocacy filed it’s statement of position that it does not object to the proposed
Pilot to the extent that it will help support the State’s electrification of transportation goals while allowing Hawaiian Electric to further assess the costs and workflows necessary to support make-ready infrastructure and inform the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a broader program deployment.

The Consumer Advocate (CA) lists several recommendations Hawaiian Electric should take to reduce the costs of the Pilot, promote transparency regarding the impacts of the Pilot on ratepayers, and mitigate any risks.

Key recommendations include:

  • Prioritize sites serving the greatest number of eBuses and with the lowest
    deployment cost, to the extent possible.
  • Consider requiring participants to commit to a certain amount of charging
    and/or revenue to mitigate the financial risks of the pilot on ratepayers and
    present such plan as part of the final program design report.
  • Provide an analysis of the bill impacts and net benefit (cost) of the Pilot to
    ratepayers in each of Hawaiian Electric’s service territories.

View the full docket proceedings here.