Hawaii is the 50th and the last state to join the Union, but Hawaii will be the first state to feature Electric Car Stations statewide.
The Governor has announced that Better Place , a Palo Alto , CA based firm, will be building the electric car stations. Governor Lingle stated in a press conference "Today is a part of the execution of our energy independence and our getting off the addiction to oil."
Hawaii has set a goal to reduce its need for oil usage by 70% over the next twenty years. The electric car stations will be a big step towards meeting that goal.
Better Place will build the electric car recharging stations and rechargeable batteries. The stations are expected to be ready for market by 2011. Charging stations would be placed on downtown streets, in neighborhoods and in parking lots statewide by 2012. Between 50,000 - 100,00 stations are planned.
The power for the electric stations will be purchased from Hawaii Electric, but will also be green energy, generated by wind power. The recharging stations would be charged at night when the demand for wind-powered energy on the islands is at its lowest.
Nissan and Renault motor companies have already agreed to build Electric cars for the stations. The Big Three have plans to build electric cars and increase its hybrid cars production as well.
Electric cars are expected to cost about the same as internal combustion vehicles when purchased, but over time will bring savings to their owners not only in fuel costs but in maintenance costs as well. Electric cars use only half the parts of internal combustion cars.
Better Place chose Hawaii as its first state for implementation because of its' contained environment. Hawaii was very open to the place because fossil fuel accounts for about 90% of the islands' energy needs and about 33% of that is used for transportation.
Better Place will be building the stations and the State of Hawaii is not expected to contribute to building the network. However, the State of Hawaii is considering offering incentives to encourage its' people to buy electric cars.
The state especially wants to encourage the rental car companies to switch over to electric fuel. Hawaii says "Aloha" to over five million people who visit the islands every year. As you can imagine this means there are a lot of rental cars on the road.
Because Honolulu has the privilege of hosting many of these visitors to the islands the benefits of the electric car will be greatly appreciated here.
This is Robin saying Aloha (hello) to a greener world and to a greener Hawaii and Aloha (good-bye) to you. See you next week!