KAHULUI – The University of Hawaii Maui College has received a nearly $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and private industry to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Hawaii.
The grant is from the Clean Cities Initiative Awards, which identified 16 projects nationally.
The grant was announced by Gov. Neil Abercrombie at Tuesday’s opening of the 2011 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu.
Other Hawaii awards included $6.1 million to the University of Hawaii to work with industry partners to allow the electric grid to take on more solar energy by developing and demonstrating state-of-the-art photovoltaic inverters; and $750,000 to DBEDT to provide technical assistance to the Public Utilities Commission to remove barriers to allow more renewable energy on-island power grids.
The Kahului college is the only college or university to receive a community planning grant under the initiative, said Susan Wyche, the college’s special projects coordinator.
“Our strategy is to capitalize on Maui’s unique features that will support the mass adoption of electric vehicles, such as our short driving distances, high cost of gasoline and the large number of rental vehicles that make up our vehicle population,” she said. “Our goal is to have the highest EV ownership per capita in the world and to combine that with the greatest percentage of fossil-free sources to charge those EVs. Maui will serve as a case study for other islands in Hawaii and the world.”
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