Hot off the press –– According to the AP, Hawaii has unveiled plans to be first in the nation to roll out electric car stations statewide — a move the governor hailed as a major step toward weaning the islands off oil. This news follows a recent declaration that California cities will be entering into a similar $1 billion project with the electric car provider, Better Place.
Hawaii currently imports foreign oil to meet 90 percent of its energy needs. Hawaii going electric is great news, because one-third of that oil is used to power cars and buses on island streets.
Gov. Linda Lingle said Tuesday this new program, developed by the Israeli Shai Agassi of Better Place, would help Hawaii meet its goal of slashing fossil fuel use 70 percent by 2030. In a press conference, he said: “This is the preferred future. Today is a part of the execution of our energy independence, and our getting off the addiction to oil.”
Better Place, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, will build the car recharging stations and provide recharged batteries for electric cars. The company is set to purchase renewable energy — such as wind power — from Hawaiian Electric Co., the state’s largest utility.
Shai Agassi, the CEO of Better Place, who we’ve written about recently, thinks Hawaii is an ideal place to show off his company’s technology because the state sees some five million tourists each year from the U.S. mainland, Japan, Canada and the rest of the world.
“If we can get them into electric cars when they rent, we do two great things,” Agassi said. “One, we avoid emissions and, two, we use the opportunity to educate them, to teach them in Hawaii how it needs to be done in the rest of the world.”