The fallout of the Better Place bankruptcy is still being felt in Hawaii and leaving some plug-in vehicle drivers with far fewer charging opportunities than they originally suspected. According to an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, OpConnect took over the Better Place charging infrastructure in Hawaii – made up of 77 charging stations there – after the Israeli company went out of business in May. If you had an account before the bankruptcy, then things have been fine for you and your electron-powered car. If, though, you signed up since after May – and OpConnect says between 100 and 200 people have done so – then a little piece of missing plastic is causing you big problems.

Turns out, OpConnect cannot get any more of the Better Place account fobs, the little devices that tell the charging station to turn on, even from the original supplier to Better Place. The solution? Expensive replacement of the Better Place charging stations with OpConnect-branded ones that don't need those special account fobs. An OpConnect representative told the Star-Bulletin this will start happening in the next few weeks.

It's not all bad news for Oahu-based EV drives, since there remains a network of free charging stations run by Volta, like the ones at Ala Moana Center (pictured). Sadly, this network is much smaller than the troubled Better Place one, roughly 15-20 by the looks of things. The Star-Bulletin says there are a total of 85 EV charging stations on Oahu.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Months Ago
      So there are no companies in the whole US that can write data to a FOB? there is no single software company that can exchange the fob reader with another one. so the whole chagrer goes to scrap because of one interface? that is dumb, especially for a company that sets up those things
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        it's not a technological problem. it is a licensing problem.
      • 2 Months Ago
      I cannot see this have to be a problem. The new owner of Better Place Israel has also bought the software rights. I am sure they can also help in Hawaii. At least that solution must be cheaper than replacing all chargers.
      Spec
      • 2 Months Ago
      This is why Better Place failing was a self-fulfilling prophecy . . . would would buy into a car with a long-term contract with a shaky start-up? Very few . . . hence, bankruptcy.
      Ryan
      • 2 Months Ago
      This is why having to sign up for different chargers isn't a good thing. At least if there isn't a way to switch that off or allow a guest visitor mode.
      Kevin B
      • 2 Months Ago
      This is almost identical to the situation in Chicago dealing with 350 Green and its new owners Car Charging. 350 Green went bad on all kinds of debt, got bought out by Car Charging Group who is now tied up in litigation with JNS Holdings who simultaneously had a contract with (but not full buyout of) 350 Green. Meanwhile, if you had a RFID card, you can use the stations... if not, you can't get a new one since station manufacturer Efacec was on the bad end of some of those unpaid debts. Horrible here in Chi-Town!