For Immediate Release: September 7, 2017

Noreen Reimel
Ulupono Initiative
[email protected]
(808) 544-8979

Melissa Miyashiro
Blue Planet Foundation
[email protected]
(808) 499-5713

HONOLULU — To gear up for National Drive Electric Week (September 9-17, 2017) and celebrate electric vehicle adoption across the country, the Drive Electric Hawaii coalition has unveiled a website aimed at encouraging drivers to charge up and go electric! launched today as a resource hub for Hawaii residents. Visitors will find news, links to online and print resources, upcoming events, and stories from EV drivers and local experts. The goal of the site is to help Hawaii residents understand the driving, charging, and owning experience of switching to electric transportation.

The website also offers details about upcoming events and ways to get involved with National Drive Electric Week, including ride-and-drive events on Hawaii Island (Sept. 9 in Waimea and 16 in Hilo) and Kauai (Sept. 16 in Lihue), and the Electric Island Drive and Fair on Oahu (Sept. 17 in Honolulu)

“Working together on strategies to electrify transportation in Hawaii is a key component of our transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045,” said Shem Lawlor, clean transportation director at Blue Planet Foundation. “We see the newly launched Drive Electric Hawaii website as an ideal place to start for community members who are interested in learning more about electric vehicles. We’ve worked to answer the top questions on people’s minds as they think about making the switch from gasoline vehicles.

Drivers who have already made the transition are also featured on the site. “We purchased our first EV in 2011 and thoroughly enjoy the ownership experience, the environmental impact, and the ability to run our cars on solar energy,” said Noel Morin and Stephanie Hall-Morin of Hilo when asked about their experience as electric vehicle owners. Lori McCarney, executive director of Bikeshare Hawaii (“Biki”), shared how the electric Smart cars her organization received as a donation from Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation have made a positive impact: “Biki loves the two EV Smart cars donated to us by HEI. Booking about 30 miles each day to check on Biki Bikes and Biki Stops, their compact size makes them perfect for navigating Honolulu’s tight streets in an eco-friendly way.”

Formed in 2016, Drive Electric Hawaii seeks to promote the use of electric vehicles, reduce fossil-fuel-powered transportation, and enable more renewable energy through collaboration on education, promotion, advocacy, and infrastructure to make electric mobility easier for all.

The coalition of public, private, and nonprofit organizations includes Blue Planet Foundation; Hawaiian Electric Companies; Kauai Island Utility Cooperative; Rocky Mountain Institute; Hawaii State Energy Office, Department of Transportation, and Division of Consumer Advocacy; and Ulupono Initiative.

“Many people do not yet realize that driving an electric vehicle can be both economically and environmentally beneficial,” said Brennon Morioka, Hawaiian Electric general manager for electrification of transportation. “About 7,000 Hawaii drivers are already enjoying the smooth and silent drive experience from state-of-the-art technology, a reduced carbon footprint and the financial benefits that come with driving an electric vehicle. Electric vehicle owners are not just leading the future of mobility; they are helping Hawaii on our journey to 100 percent renewable energy.”

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