Better Place announced a network of over 130 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui and Oahu. The network will offer free charging through the end of the year with membership plans available effective January 1, 2013. In addition to the development of charging networks, Better Place is installing battery swapping stations in Israel, Copenhagen and China for specifically designed electric vehicles.
It would seem that if any location would be an ideal place to own an electric car, the state of Hawaii would be it. The Big Island (Hawaii) is roughly 90 miles across from Hilo to Kailua-Kona. Every other island offers significantly shorter commutes. Also with gasoline already averaging over $4.00 a gallon, the idea of owning an electric car becomes even more appealing. Better Place began the installation of charge stations in April 2011 in Waikiki.
Visitors to the Aloha State need not be left out. Enterprise Rent-A-Car began adding Nissan LEAFs to its fleet in Oahu last year. Currently the Nissan LEAF is the only fully electric vehicle offered, but hybrid vehicles are available also to help you minimize your carbon footprint while on the island.
The power company, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), is also looking to reduce their dependence on imported oil – the primary source for their power currently. The state has implemented a mandate that by 2030 40 percent of the state’s energy is to be derived from renewable sources. Currently they are already over half way there, and Hawaiian Electric has stated that their goal is to exceed the mandate requirement. If you live in Hawaii, make sure to check out the special EV charging rates offered by HECO.
“Drive Electric Days” will be hosted on the Big Island and on Maui in support of this network launch. See the press release for details.