COUNTY VEHICLE CONVERTED TO PLUG-IN ELECTRIC HYBRID CAR

January 26, 2009, 2:26 PM HST · Updated January 27, 9:45 AM
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Mayor Charmaine Tavares joined Maui High School automotive students and staff in previewing a County-owned Toyota Prius that was converted from a gas-electric hybrid to a plug-in electric hybrid car. The Prius is one of six vehicles statewide participating in the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Activity testing program that will gather data on the car’s performance. Students in the school’s nationally-recognized automotive program were able to observe and assist in the project that will allow the car to be charged from any standard household outlet.

Co-sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory, the program paid for the Prius conversion that added a 5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a 110 volt charging port on the rear bumper that will allow the car to be charged from any standard household outlet. Fully charged, the additional battery is expected to boost the car’s performance to approximately 60-70 mpg; after the charge depletes at around 35 miles, the vehicle reverts to gas-electric hybrid function.

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Mayor Tavares commented that her vision for Maui’s renewable energy future involves the development of a skilled, “green” workforce.

“This unique opportunity offered Maui High’s young technicians invaluable first-hand knowledge in the latest advances in automotive propulsion, especially plug-in technology and data automation.”

(Posted: Monday, January 26, 2009) (Photos Courtesy County of Maui: — Patrick Cadam of Pat’s Garage shows Mayor Charmaine Tavares the battery pack and charging port that allow the County-owned Toyota Prius to be charged from any standard household outlet. — Mayor Charmaine Tavares address the crowd of students, staff and officials today at Maui High School’s automotive shop.)

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