Electric Vehicles Take Charge at First Hawaiian International Auto Show, March 29-31

Drive Electric Hawaii offers potential EV buyers opportunity to ‘Ride and Drive’

HONOLULU – Car enthusiasts will get a chance to hop behind the wheel of several electric vehicle (EV) models at the First Hawaiian International Auto Show, happening March 29 through 31 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Drive Electric Hawaii EV Ride-and-Drive will give attendees a chance to test drive several new EVs, including the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Mercedes-Benz GLC350e Plug-In Hybrid, 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and the 2019 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid.

Test drives will be offered at the Center’s porte cochere on Friday, March 29, between 1 and 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. To take a cruise, drivers must have a valid driver’s license and sign up at the Auto Show. They’ll also be able to talk with local EV experts at both the ride-and-drive area and the Hawaiian Electric booth inside the main hall.

The ride-and-drive is co-sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Company and Ulupono Initiative, two members of the Drive Electric Hawaii coalition, and coordinated by MotorTrend Group. For additional information about the test drive, please visit autoshowhawaii.com/test-drives/.

“As the purchase price of EVs becomes more affordable, the overall cost of owning and maintaining an EV is becoming significantly lower than internal combustion engine cars,” said Greg Gaug, vice president of investments at Ulupono Initiative. “Even with the highest electricity rates in the country, a Hawaii EV owner will save on average $507 per year by switching from gas to electricity for fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. With Hawaii’s relatively high, fluctuating gas prices, EV owners will actually spend less.”

There are more than 8,600 registered EVs currently registered in the state, and the popularity of EVs has been gaining momentum, with the number of EVs in Hawaii increasing over 26 percent from February 2018 to February 2019.

“This increased adoption can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the decrease in initial purchasing cost and long-term cost savings of EV ownership, a growing variety of model types, increased travel range between charges, and the gradual development of Hawaii’s EV infrastructure,” said Brennon Morioka, general manager of electrification of transportation at Hawaiian Electric.

“With more than 350 types of new vehicles on display, we’re proud EVs will have a strong presence at this year’s event,” said Dave Rolf, executive director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. “The First Hawaiian Bank Auto Show is all about the freedom of choice, and we want to be sure that visitors are made aware of all the benefits that come with EV ownership.”

Formed in 2016, Drive Electric Hawaii seeks to promote the use of electric vehicles, cut fossil-fuel-transportation and add more renewable energy through collaboration on education, promotion, advocacy, and infrastructure to make electric mobility easier for all.

The coalition of public, private, and nonprofit organizations includes Blue Planet Foundation; the counties of Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii Island; Hawaiian Electric Companies; Kauai Island Utility Cooperative; Rocky Mountain Institute; Hawaii State Energy Office; Department of Transportation; and Division of Consumer Advocacy; and Ulupono Initiative. For more information, visit us at www.driveelectrichi.com.

Media Contact:
Noreen Reimel
Ulupono Initiative