‘Electric Vehicle Day’ underscores state’s commitment to clean energy future

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Governor David Ige signed a proclamation Friday designating Sept. 10 as Electric Vehicle Day, kicking off National Drive Electric Week and underscoring Hawaii’s commitment to a clean energy future.

“About a third of our fuel is imported to electricity,” the governor said, “a third for ground transportation and a third for jet fuel and aircraft fuel, so the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is committed to reducing the use of petroleum for ground transportation by 70 percent, which is about 385 million gallons.”

The Blue Planet Foundation’s Electric Island Drive from 1-3 p.m. Saturday will bring together electric vehicle owners for a collective drive through Honolulu to highlight the environmental, health, and economic benefits of zero emission vehicles. The caravan will find its way to a hosted event at the Kapiolani Community College parking lot.

All electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners are invited to join in. To register, click here.

Clem Lawlor, the foundation’s clean transportation director, said “we have a lot of things that are favorable conditions for electric vehicles — the weather, we have short driving distances. The one thing we really need is more infrastructure. We need places where people can charge their vehicles … particularly in Honolulu, where we have a high percentage of our residences who live in multifamily housing or who rent. It’s a little difficult to charge at home.

“So we’re working on ways to help condos and apartments installing charging infrastructures, and then working on the public side, putting charging stations in commercial properties and retail establishments.”

According to the state, electric vehicles are the fastest growing vehicle choice in Hawaii, with the number of registered vehicles up 26 percent over the same time last year, and set to top 5,000 statewide before the end of the year.

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