Electric car fuel station network planned for Hawaiian islands


Honolulu, Hawaii — (METERING.COM) — October 9, 2008 – Califormia-based Better Place is reported to be planning to build a network of electric car charging stations on four Hawaii islands.

Electric vehicles are expected to be available in Hawaii’s auto showrooms in 2011, and the Palo Alto company intends to power them by tapping into the state’s growing renewable energy industry.

Hawaii is an ideal market for electric vehicles because of its geographical scale and the relatively short distances traveled by most motorists. The Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project (HEVDP), a project of the state High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), has initiated a project to make Hawaii the first U.S. state to be electric vehicle ready with rapid charging infrastructure. A joint venture involving the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and Hawaii Electric Vehicles, Inc., is installing AeroVironment PosiCharge® Rapid Charging Systems throughout the entire state, which will allow motorists to charge their electric vehicle in a matter of minutes rather than hours with conventional charging. During the initial phase, rapid chargers are being installed on the Island of Oahu before moving out to the neighbor islands in the upcoming years.

Better Place is already developing an electric recharge grid network infrastructure for electric vehicles in Israel in conjunction with Renault-Nissan and other partners.

Better Place intends to sell its power for electric cars on a subscriber-based model, similar to that used by the mobile phone industry. Drivers would sign up to access a network of charging spots and conveniently located battery exchange stations powered by renewable energy, effectively paying for the miles they drive. In some markets under such a plan the car could even be free.

A fully charged vehicle would have a range of more than 100 miles.