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Test Drive Electric Vehicles at National Plug In Day

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   September 14th, 2012 · No Disqus Comments ·
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· Featured, Maui Business

The public can test drive electric vehicles at the National Plug-In Day Celebration. All-electric Nissan Leaf pictured. Photo by Jenna Thomas.

By Sonia Isotov

Maui’s electric vehicle (EV) drivers will come together to celebrate Maui’s first National Plug In Day on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22 at the UH Maui College and at other locations around island.

The day is organized on Maui by University of Hawaii Maui College’s MauiEVA Project and the Maui Electric Auto Association to highlight the fun, clean-air benefits and cost-savings of electric cars as part of the second annual National Plug In Day.

The event will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 21 in the parking lot fronting the Maui County Building in Wailuku with a ribbon-cutting for Maui’s first DC fast charging station and Wailuku Town’s first public electric vehicle charging station.

Extended-range electric Chevy Volt. Photo by Jenna Thomas.

The DC fast charger from Aerovironment can charge an all-electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf in as little as twenty minutes, curing “range anxiety” and paving the way for the next generation of electric vehicle owners on Maui.

There will be a blessing of the charging station by four-time Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku, Jr., ribbon cutting, inaugural charge, and a proclamation of National Plug In Day by Mayor Alan M. Arakawa.

Maui National Plug In Day will continue on Saturday, September 22 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Maui Swap Meet and UH Maui College.  Inside the Maui Swap Meet, MauiEVA and the newly formed Maui Electric Auto Association will have a booth where Maui electric vehicle owners will answer questions about the EV ownership experience and demonstrate the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Interior of the Nissan leaf electric vehicle. Photo by Jenna Thomas.

Just outside the Maui Swap Meet, in the UH Maui College parking lot, event partners Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jim Falk Motors, and Maui Toyota will offer free ride-n-drives of electric cars, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf, extended-range electric Chevy Volt, and the Plug In Prius hybrid.

“Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which was the first rental car company to bring EV’s into the Hawaii market, is very proud to support Maui’s first National Plug In Day. Enterprise is also excited to now offer the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt for rent in Maui,” stated Chris Sbarbaro, the vice president of sales and marketing for Enterprise. Enterprise Rent-A-Car will be offering a drawing for a free weekend electric car rental at the event.

MauiEVA Project partners Bio-Beetle ECO Rental Cars and Hawaiian Electric Vehicle Network (HEVN), an all EV rental operation starting on Maui in early 2013 and the State of Hawaiʻi’s first organized Sustainable Business Corporation, will also be featured.

There will also be an electric scooter showcased by Paradise Scooters, an electric scooter rental company coming to Maui in late 2012, and electric bicycles from Maui Electric Cruisers, an electric bicycle sales and rental company based in Kihei.

Maui’s event is one of more than 60 across the country where electric vehicle owners and interested citizens from Maui to New York will participate in electric car parades, “tailpipe-free” tailgate parties, awards to leaders promoting EV-readiness, launches of new public EV charging stations, and other events.

For a complete list of Plug In Day events and event details, visit: www.pluginday.org.

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