While much of the media focus about the EV market falls upon mainland USA, Europe, and to a lesser extent the Far East, there is much activity in some of the smaller niche markets such as Hawaii. Indeed the Hawaiian authorities have just announced a deal with Hawaiian Electric Companies to ensure that those recharging their electric cars do so at a standard rate. This is just the latest in a long running move by the Hawaiian authorities to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles.
On the surface this may look like a traditional take-up of new technology but if you dig below the surface, Hawaii perhaps more than many other countries, has real potential to exploit electric vehicles to their maximum.
How popular are electric vehicles?
At this moment in time it is estimated there are roughly 1500 electric vehicles in Hawaii, although this figure is growing constantly. The country already has an array of recharging stations available to the wider public and this week's agreement with Hawaiian Electric Companies gives the market yet more stability. However, what about the creation of power to recharge electric vehicles?
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "The average driver covers around 70 miles a day through the week which is less than the full charge available on a Nissan Leaf 2013 - about 129 miles on a full charge. How many miles do you drive each day?"
Hawaii has an abundance of natural energy such as wind and solar which can be channelled very successfully to support the island. At this moment in time the island has a dependence upon oil and gas companies for traditional fuel travel although the ability to literally power electric vehicles via wind and solar energy is something often overlooked. This could have a monumental impact upon the Hawaiian economy in the long term and open up new investment opportunities for local businesses.
Electric vehicles are touching all corners of the world
The fact that the Hawaiian authorities have the potential ability to find all of their additional electric power needs for recharging electric cars via wind and solar power is very exciting. Indeed the fleet of new police motorcycles in Hawaii are all electric powered, which certainly moves the Hawaiian authorities into a "do as we do" as opposed to" do as we say, not as we do" frame of mind.
Even though there is great momentum behind the electric vehicle movement across the globe it is still but a fraction of the value of traditional gasoline/diesel powered vehicles. While this is beginning to change, and some smaller states and countries are pushing electric vehicles hard, it will take time to break into the mass markets such as the U.S. automobile industry. Rather than powering full steam ahead into the unknown, this bit by bit approach is proving to be rather successful and the introduction of electric vehicles in Hawaii would seem to be a perfect fit.
Sometimes it is easy to focus upon the major electric vehicle market such as the mainland U.S., Europe and the Far East, while often ignoring some of the niche markets which seem to be moving ahead at a faster pace. There is one common factor in all of the success stories, the support, both financially and physically, of the local authorities and the willingness of the local population to at least consider this new mode of transport.