Bringing Electric Vehicles to Molokai
Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance News Release
Molokai residents know all too well about high gas prices. The island has some of the highest in the nation. Electric vehicles – cars that can plug in to the electricity grid for some or all of their power – promise relief from these high costs. Plus, they offer a sustainable and energy-independent way to get around the island, reinforcing the island ethic of caring for the environment.
A few Molokai residents have managed to purchase electric vehicles, taking advantage of a current price war among the automakers and new lease deals that remove high upfront costs. They also managed to install rooftop solar to lower their electricity bills and provide surplus power to charge their cars at home.
What will it take to make electric vehicles the norm on Molokai? Significant challenges remain. The island will need an adequate public charging network so drivers can charge away from home and travel to the ends of the island in all-battery vehicles without worrying about running out of juice. More residents need access to rooftop solar to offset the high electricity costs that might make an electric vehicle less appealing financially. Automakers may need to provide larger cars for island ohana and for off-road driving. Visitors to the island could also benefit from a rental electric vehicle service that could eventually sell used vehicles at a discount to island residents.
To discuss these issues and help develop a plan to bring more electric vehicles to Molokai, come to the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center from 5 to7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Electric vehicle expert Ethan Elkind from the University of California Berkeley School of Law will discuss policy and business options to overcome the challenges and report on the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance efforts to boost electric vehicle deployment on Maui and other islands.