Maui mayor driving force behind green program

Published: Jul. 29, 2009 at 8:29 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 29, 2009 at 2:32 PM HST
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Mayor Charmaine Tavares
Mayor Charmaine Tavares

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAILUKU (KHNL) - Maui County is trying to do its part to become less dependent on fossil fuels. This Toyota Prius averages about 65 miles per gallon in its first month on the road.

"We're part of this educational program to make people aware of what kinds of tools there are out there to help us become more sustainable with energy, this is just one of the many things, happy to be part of this program," Maui County mayor Charmaine Tavares said.

Tavares drives this Prius and is the driving force behind this program.

"I figured that of all the people who are inclined to do this kind of thing, it would be me, 'cuz I go to more places than most," she said.

Tavares says the program serves as a roving educational tool in the community as a test model.

"The reception has been very good, people have been interested, they want to know when it's available for public consumption and I tell them it's still in testing mode," she said.

Tavares says the main goal of this project is to teach people about what can be done to help the environment.

"As people understand it more, and we start talking about the different technologies that can relate to, ok, this is leading us towards more independence from fossil fuel and this is a good thing," she said.

Tavares says the car's range per fill-up averages 450 miles.