Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Will 2009 Be Hawaii’s Year of the Electric Car?

(Reminder to military personnel on Oahu: Visit our Yes2Rail blog for information on how to comment on the Honolulu rail transit project's Draft EIS.)

What’s the fastest way to make cuts into Hawaii’s dependence on oil? We’ll venture the opinion that converting to electric vehicles is that way.

It would seem to be the “easiest,” implemented by individuals and requiring no land use or shoreline management permits, environmental impact assessments, legislative initiatives, new Public Utility Commission rules or hundreds of millions of dollars in power plant investment.

To be sure, Hawaii will see its share of large wind farms, solar arrays and OTEC plants in the years ahead, but individuals and businesses are switching over to electric cars in the here and now. Today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports on a company that’s introducing its beefed-up battery pack to Hawaii that doubles the Toyota Prius's fuel economy.

We’ll all be watching Better Place in ’09 to see how far the company moves its plan to build out a $1 billion battery-charging network of 100,000 charging stations throughout the state. Hawaii is just one of Better Place's venues, so it remains to be seen where the state ranks in the company's priorities.  Here's a link to a BBC report today on Better Place and "the electric car revolution."

We wait with anticipation for other initiatives in renewable energy this year involving OTEC, battery storage and other critical fields. Whatever those initiatives are, our journey to energy independence in Hawaii will be smoother if the vehicles we use are electrified.


Larry said...

I sell LED lighting and believe that Hawaii would benefit greatly from retrofitting existing buildings and roads with LED lighting. Hawaii could cut power consumption by as much as 20% across the board with LED lighting. It would also get rid of the growing problem of mercury from the CFLs. Please contact me at should anyone be interested in our LED lighting solutions.

Ernie said...

I sincerely hope that oil industry do not try to throw road blocks in the way of Hawaii electric car initiatives, like they have in many other places, especially California where they and GM killed the EV1 project.