Lingle's plan on electric vehicle takes new turn - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lingle's plan on electric vehicle takes new turn

Dan Elliot Dan Elliot
Ed Reinhardt Ed Reinhardt

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

DOWNTOWN HONOLULU (KHNL) - Another announcement from the Governor on her mission to reduce Hawaii's carbon footprint.

It comes just a week after she unveiled plans for an electric car network. Last week, a company pledged to build the infrastructure needed for electric cars to run.

This announcement involves bringing a fleet of electric vehicles to Hawaii roads.

Governor Linda Lingle's plan to steer Hawaii away from its dependence on oil takes a new turn. This is a model of the electric car fleet coming to Maui County.

"It does everything you expect a vehicle to do except it doesn't pollute," said Dan Elliott, Phoenix Motorcars CEO.

In a deal with Maui Electric, car maker Phoenix Motorcars signs on a plan to test the vehicles, using MECO's grid to power them up. The goal is to tap into unused clean energy.

"Some renewable sources continue to make energy overnight while we're sleeping," said Maui Electric president Ed Reinhardt.

The vehicles go zero to sixty in less than ten seconds, run 130 miles on a single charge. And reach up to 90 miles per hour.

Average price tag is $50,000, with incentives and mandates attached.

"Nobody likes to hear about mandates. They didn't like it on the solar water heating bill on the houses," said Governor Lingle. "There were some people who felt you shouldn't mandate, you should just let the market decide. Well, this was the same argument that was made by the big three automakers."

MECO will test drive 20 to 30 of these cars starting next year for six months.

The goal is to bring 2500 of them to Hawaii by the end of 2009.

Then expand the fleet to 10,000 cars by 2010. This is all part of the Governor's list of to-do's under the Hawaii clean energy initiative.

Which outlines her vision for Hawaii to use 70% clean energy by 2030.

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