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USA: Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance Launches

Earlier this month, the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance (Maui EVA) was launched at the Grand Wailea via a meeting with officials from the University of Hawaii Maui College, Hawaii State Energy Office, Honolulu Clean Cities and 30 other Hawaii government, business and organization partners. Their plan is to create and implement a Maui County wide plan for the infrastructure and adoption of electric vehicles.

“We estimate that 15 to 20 percent of the vehicles used on Maui are rental cars driven by visitors, a much higher density than in other cities or counties of comparable size elsewhere,” said Susan Wyche, UHMC special project coordinator. “With such short driving distances, EVs are the perfect choice for visitors coming to enjoy our island. But to give them that option, we need the support of rental car companies, as well as public charging stations at hotels, state parks, and other recreational sites. Once an island-wide infrastructure is in place, residents will be able to use those charging stations, and rental car companies, like Enterprise and Hertz, will be able to sell their EV fleet to the local Maui market instead of shipping them elsewhere.”

Maui EVA has a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Energy to prepare Maui for widespread adoption of electronic vehicles. The strategy is to get local companies, hotels and state parks that serve the visitor industry to partner with Maui EVA and collectively create the infrastructure needed.
Along with car rental companies, auto dealers understand the benefit of creating charging stations as the demand for EVs increases. October saw the arrival of the first Chevy Volt on Maui at Jim Falk Motors. They’ve also sold several Nissan Leafs.


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