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USA: Electric vehicles in Hawaii one year later

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state average for regular unleaded gasoline right now is $4.23. That’s up 16 cents in the last month. Of course, that’s meaningless to Bill Markevitch. He bought the state’s very first electronic vehicle a year ago.

After a year out on the road the first Nissan Leaf in Hawaii is now back at the dealership for a maintenance check.

“There’s less to do maintenance wise,” said Nick Ching, Senior Specialist of the Nissan Leaf.

Of course there’s no oil or filters to change which does save money. Although the car is new so it’s tough to say how much replacement parts may eventually cost especially the battery. Fortunately Markevitch says it is under warranty for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

“You are saving a couple hundred now but maybe in the long run you might spend more on this car for parts but it’s hard to say,” said Ching.

It did take about 90 minutes to update the computer software.

It needs to be charged often which also costs electricity.

“A full charge or 100 miles is about $6,” said Bill Markevitch, first Nissan Leaf owner in Hawaii.

That is a bit higher than the $4.50 he paid before electric rates starting going up but still less than he paid with gas.

We spoke with three Leaf owners today. One says his electric bill went up about $160 a month since plugging in his car and that’s even with a photovoltaic system. But the other two say they pay about $40 to $50 more on electricity a month after getting their car.

“The cost savings is really fantastic,” said Henry Wong, who bought his Leaf in August.


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