Our First Major Hurdles (2020-2022)

In the two years that GreeInvest has been in operation, there are three major hurdles that have defined our business and story. The process of finding a means to traverse them has been as exciting as it has been mind-boggling, especially given that a business model like this has never really been implemented before. At present, in September of 2022, we are successfully managing the first solar-powered, off-grid, portable electric vehicle charger on the Big Island of Hawaii at Hawaii Community College. For context, the GreeInvest business model aspires to utilize our solar-powered, off-grid, portable electric vehicle charger to provide free charging for local EV owners in Hilo, Hawaii, and to represent local businesses via advertising. The charger, an EV ARC, will be able to maneuver around the island with the help of a forklift and aid in disaster preparedness while providing sustainable public EV charging infrastructure.

Hawaii Community College was gracious enough to provide GreeInvest LLC with a parking spot to keep our EV ARC, and welcomed the charger with a lovely ceremony.

Our first major hurdle was getting the charger on-island. The EV ARC’s arrival was ultimately accomplished with several strategic collaborations with partner companies, and by our team that is made of ambitious, resourceful individuals from a variety of backgrounds. What made the hurdle of the charger’s arrival in Hawaii so great is that nobody on-island had ever seen, utilized, or worked with an EV ARC before. This made it hard for potential clients to conceptualize what a working business relationship would look like, and thus finding interest and traction was difficult. Thankfully, members of the GreeInvest team were able to find interest within the sustainability committee at Hawaii Community College.

The EV ARC was brought onto Hawaii Community College campus with a flatbed truck and forklift. It then took 6 hours and several generous volunteers to install it manually.

Our second major hurdle is one we’ve just now overcome: fixing the charger amidst an issue with hardware while global supply chains are suffering from the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine. While we reported the issue, a cooked head and power plate, to Chargepoint the same day that we noticed it, the delivery of the component took over a month. Upon its arrival, the repair was delayed another week as Chargepoint needed to find a technician on-island to professionally install it (if we did it ourselves, the device would lose its warranty). Furthermore, the charging component was knocked to the ground the week before repairs, which could have potentially complicated the head and power plate replacement. We are thankful to the technicians who brought the EV ARC back to full-speed again, and we are now much more knowledgeable on what it takes to maintain a device like the EV ARC, the only one of its kind on the Big Island. As of today, September 13, 2020, the EV ARC has provided 261 charging sessions since its landing at the beginning of April 22.

The third hurdle we have encountered is the development of a self-sustaining business model, or a way of operating that would make owning the EV ARC a profitable occupation. This is a challenging undertaking for the same reason getting the charger on-island was: it’s a very new concept with not much precedence. To work our way around this and build a network of interested clients, the GreeInvest team is starting at a grassroots level and pursuing partnerships with local entrepreneurs whilst also pitching our plan to larger, multi-chain prospects. Overall, I am optimistic about the future of the EV ARC on the Big Island. This device has had an incredible past few months, and it is clear that it can fill a space in the island’s infrastructure ecosystem.

Maintaining the EV ARC will require not only diligence on our part, but care and consideration from the Hilo community as well. For future use of the EV ARC, please operate the device with the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be gentle with the charger and its cord. Yanking the plug can break the clip.
  • If you see that the EV ARC has been vandalized, please let me know
    • cell: 713-494-2534
    • email: Michael@greeinvest.com
  • Remember that on cloudy days, the EV ARC will take longer to refill its battery
    • please keep your charging sessions shorter so that other EV users can utilize the charger

The GreeInvest team is very excited to make the Hilo EV charging community more sustainable. More updates to come soon!