By Sonia Isotov
Greentech Media, a national online media company covering daily news about the green technology market, has named the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance (Maui EVA) one of the top five electric vehicle initiatives of the year.
Seeded with a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Energy as part of its Clean Cities Initiative Awards, Maui EVA is a consortium of partners ranging from the University of Hawai’i Maui College, Hawai’i State Energy Office, Honolulu Clean Cities and 30 other Hawai’i government, business, and organization partners.
Their goal is to create an overall county-wide plan for infrastructure improvements that would accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and make Maui a green energy model for electric vehicles.
“The Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance plays a critical role in the island-wide adoption of electric vehicle use and MECO will continue its active involvement and strong support of this project.” said Chris Reynolds, a member of Maui EVA and the operations superintendent for Maui Electric Company, in a written statement today.
“People want to see the progress of this technology and whether this renewable works or not. With the grant awarded to Maui our responsibility is titanic. The focus will be on us to show EV’s practicality and effectiveness,” added Shawn racoma, the condominium maintenance supervisor for The Whaler On Kaanapali Beach.
Representing the Kihei Community Association, which not only supports clean energy initiatives but also acts as a community watchdog, Andrew Beerer sees the Maui EV rollout as an opportunity for car rental agencies and the business community to pilot a project which will benefit Maui County residents once the infrastructure is in place.
“This makes the EV rollout a relatively low-risk, low-cost scenario for our community. If proven successful, Maui EVA will lower the barriers of entry into this market, said Andrew Beerer.
Other projects considered by Greentech Media to be part of the “EV revolution” are:
- Walgreen’s plan to install charging stations at its stores,
- Texas’ evolving ‘Freedom’ network that’s rolling out charging stations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston,
- the US Air Force’s pending switch of 100% of its non-tactical vehicles to EVs and PHEVs, and
- an ambitious plan in Austin, Texas which is looking to get EVs, rooftop solar, smart appliances and even household batteries all communicating to help shape peak loads and ease strain on the electric grid.
The next meeting of Maui EVA will take place December 20th, which is also the same day that the film Revenge of the Electric Car will play at the Maui Film Festival. Attendees of the film can enter a raffle where the winner will get to test drive of a Chevy Volt, courtesy of Michael Snyder, CEO of the Hawaiian Electric Vehicle Network which is a new organization also working to introduce electric vehicles to the islands. The winner of the raffle will be announced at Maui EVA’s January meeting.
More information about Maui EVA can be found at http://maui.hawaii.edu/eva.