It pays to drive an electric vehicle in Hawaii. Ulupono Initiative announced investing in Volta Industries to help expand its Hawai‘i network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
This investment means Volta will more than double its current network in Hawai‘i with 15 extra new “free to use” charging stations planned this year statewide. Volta has allowed more than 120,000 miles of free charging to Hawai‘i electric vehicle drivers so far and doesn’t want to stop here. With its design, installation and maintenance of public electric vehicle charging networks, Volta provides the free energy for electric car and motorcycle drivers along Hawaii. None of this would be possible without sponsoring companies, such as Ulupono Initiative that provide the EV community approximately 15 to 20 miles worth of range per hour of charging, all of it free.
Why Is This Important? Gasoline in Hawai’i is very expensive. It has to be shipped and even though travel distance is short, it makes driving an expensive endeavor. In a state bathed with natural, abundant clean, renewable resource, it makes sense to develop solar and hydro energy to feed electric vehicles. The other up take is that electric vehicle’s perceived short range is not an issue on islands that cover only a few miles. The results speak for themselves, electric vehicle sales have been strong in Hawai‘i, which has seen the highest per-capita sales of electric vehicles in the nation in 2011. Currently, there are 1,437 electric cars registered on O‘ahu, according to state figures as of May 2013.
To compare the efficiency of electric vehicles to conventional vehicles, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has tracked mileage for the last two decades in Hawai‘i and estimated an average of 19 miles per gallon in 2011. The average mile per gallon equivalent for electric vehicles now on the road ranges from 90 to 115.
According to Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative: “Mass adoption of electric vehicles has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuels imported to Hawai‘i for passenger cars and trucks. One of the most important reasons consumers say they don’t choose EVs is concern about their limited range. Increasing the number of stations statewide means more consumers will be able to easily charge their vehicles and avoid range anxiety. This investment will increase the total number of EV charging stations in the state by 6 percent and help support an estimated 2,500 electric vehicles projected on Hawai‘i’s roads by the end of this year. By increasing adoption of EVs, we’re helping achieve our goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil with more efficient technology.”
Congratulations Volta on continuing to breaking grounds in Hawai’i. We look forward to more good news for the electric vehicle community.