- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A survey conducted by a renewable energy nonprofit shows a majority of parking lot owners on Oahu have evaded a law regarding electric vehicle charging stations.

The law requires parking lots with 100 stalls or more to have at least one electric vehicle charging station. Blue Planet Foundation’s study found 70 percent of Oahu properties are not in compliance with the regulation, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/2mnk9Ul).

The law, which doesn’t assign an agency to hold the properties accountable, has mostly been ignored since it passed in 2009. There is also no penalty if a lot owner fails to install a charging station.

“The law has effectively always been voluntary,” said Shem Lawlor, clean-transportation director at Blue Planet Foundation. “The easiest way to increase compliance would be to assign an entity or entities with monitoring properties and create penalties for noncompliance.”

A bill that would have given the Hawaii Department of Transportation authority to monitor and fine business that do not comply with the law failed to make it out of committee hearings this legislative session.

With the law routinely ignored, the number of public charging stations has failed to keep up with the growth in electric vehicle ownership.

Manoa resident Michael Cawdery said he sold his electric vehicle because it was too much of a hassle to deal with.

“I have been stranded overnight,” Cawdery said. “I have called friends for rides. I have called friends for a place to stay. I have told people I can’t meet them.”

As of January, there were 5,202 electric vehicles on the road in Hawaii, a 27.7 percent year-over-year increase. Hawaii has 229 public electric stations with a total of 519 charging outlets, according the U.S. Department of Energy.

Of 195 hotels, downtown parking lots, hospitals, universities, airports and shopping centers that fit the parking lot requirements, only 60 have complied with the law, according to preliminary data from Blue Planet Foundation.

The nonprofit gathered the information for its survey using satellite imagery as well as county and state data. Blue Planet said the survey included about half of the number of parking lots on Oahu with 100 or more spaces.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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