In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

The power of EVs with Ulupono Initiative: HI Now host Kanoe Gibson makes the drive to the North Shore

Combatting range anxiety when it comes to electric vehicles

Sponsored by Ulupono Initiative

When it comes to making the switch to an electric vehicle, many people have concerns about how far they can really go before needing to stop and charge up. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is testing out the range of a hybrid plug-in and seeing what it takes to go all electric during a drive to Oahu’s North Shore!

“People are used to gasoline vehicles, we’ve been using them for decades,” says Greg Gaug with Ulupono Initiative. “Getting a plug-in hybrid can be a stepping stone to the full thing. Ideally, the next vehicle is a full electric.”

Gaug explains that while the range does vary based on the terrain, regenerative braking and other EV technologies allow you to regain it while traveling downhill.

“While you’re stuck in traffic, you really get extended miles out of the vehicle,” Gaug says. “You’re regenerative through the braking because you’re stop and go all the time. You’re not continuing to use gasoline as traditional vehicles do when you’re just sitting there idle.”

Although there are 500 charging ports across the state, range anxiety continues to be a concern for drivers. Gaug believes that one way to alleviate these concerns is through information and education. He says the second component is EV infrastructure, which includes trying to get more charging stations out there and more people aware of where they are.

“The state of Hawaii is setting aside a little over $1 million to bolster the EV charging network through providing funding for public EV charging stations,” says Margaret Larson, clean transportation lead of the State Energy Office.

It’s a common misconception that EVs are for the rich, and Gaug says there are a number of affordable options out there.

“With reduced cost in fueling, in maintenance, and operations, there’s recent studies that show Hawaii drivers can save more than $500 a year in driving an EV,” Gaug explains.

This year, National Drive Electric Week takes place on September 14-22. The nationwide celebration aims to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

For more information: ulupono.com, energy.hawaii.gov, Twitter: @ulupono, @EnergyHawaiiGov