State's first public electric vehicle charging station opens - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State's first public electric vehicle charging station opens

Dan Davids Dan Davids
Michael Leone Michael Leone
Kathryn Morrow Kathryn Morrow

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's another step forward in Hawaii's initiative to reduce its imported energy from 90 to 30 percent within 20 years.

With gas prices rising once again, more and more people are demanding other ways to cut costs.

Some say electric cars may be the alternative. Saturday's unveiling of the State's first public electric vehicle charging station hopes to jump start this plan.

The electric car idea in Hawaii is not a new one. In the 90s, electric stations popped up in Honolulu, but it soon fizzled, as car companies weren't all on board.

"To the extent that Hawaii is bathed with renewable energy, solar wind and wave, we can be completely independent of foreign oil," Electric car owner Dan Davids said.

Saturday's ribbon-cutting ceremony or ribbon recycling hopes to become a repeated event.

Michael Leone owns the new charging station. His main goal is to add more of it to businesses across the state.

"So that they can producing energy at their businesses and start selling that to their customers who need to be re-charged when they're out on the road," he said.

But it's open to the public. Anyone with an electric car may charge up a few ways, either by dialing an 800 number, swiping an ID card, using a smart phone app or even a credit card.

"Not having to go to the gas station, you know how fun it's going to be be to drive past gas stations," Future electric car owner Kathryn Morrow said.

Morrow says it's not only a huge cost-savings, but it's good for the environment as well.

"We're excited to be apart of the old, new revolution that's finally really coming out now," she said.

On Oahu, Leone says going electric may save drivers up to 10 cents a mile and with solar panels at home, charging is free.

But the challenge ahead is making electric cars affordable. A Tesla prices in the six figure range. Leone says creating a packaged deal may help bring down the cost.

"I would have a local investor that would come in and we would have customers come in and buy a solar carport, a wind turbine and an electric vehicle and make one low monthly payment," he said. "It's time for Hawaii to step up and start taking care of ourselves."

Federal and state tax credits have also pushed this electric movement ahead.

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