There used to be a time when the words “electric car” brought to mind funky looking jelly bean shaped golf carts zipping around quiet neighborhood streets such as those found nearby many of Kapalua’s best homes. While a great way to get across very short distances (i.e. from the luxury condos at the Kapalua Ironwoods to the waterfront homes of Coconut Grove) at a moderately brisk pace, taking these “exotic toys” out onto an open stretch of highway, where your competition for road space includes gigantic SUV’s, busses, and trucks, has never proved a very enticing proposition. However, lately the perception of the “electric car” has changed for the better . . .
Thanks to a number of technological advancements in during the past decade, “electric cars” are no longer relegated to novel modes of short term transportation. With the advent of consumer grade gasoline/electric hybrid running gear, cars such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have overtaken the golf cart sized “electric car” in the world of personal electric powered transportation. While cars such as the Prius are a step in the right direction, the hybrid technology running them relies heavily on traditional, albeit conservative, gasoline powered internal combustion engines to extract their full potential. For those wishing to further free themselves from oil burning dependence, a new breed of vehicles which use little to no gasoline have arrived: the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. or PHEV.
Relying more so on the local power grid than the local gas pump, PHEV’s look, drive, and have the utility of a standard gasoline powered vehicle, but rely primarily on electrical power to get you from point A to point B. Just as their name implies, when your PHEV runs out of juice, you simply plug it into a home or commercial charging station and before you know it, you’re back rolling on the road again! So how do you get ahold of one of these environmentally friendly, dollar saving machines? Simply head to your local car dealer and pick one up. The two current kings of PHEV’s are the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, while further models from big marques like Toyota and Ford are due to be released shortly.
As you can see, PHEV’s are a great way to commute from your luxury home in Kapalua to the grocery store and then on to any of our islands many pristine white sand beaches. The big question is, what if you want to charge your Leaf or Volt when visiting central or south Maui? Thanks to Better Place and a number of local businesses and organizations, finding a charging station on Maui is about to become much easier.
An innovator in the electric car charging space, Better Place aims to enable cost effective PHEV charging throughout the world; a goal which the organization is quickly making into a reality, with many charging stations already installed in various countries, including seven on the island of Maui, with more on the way. In celebration of the opening of its latest charging station in Kihei, Better Place will be holding the “Drive Electric Maui” event on March 9th, from 3:00pm until 5:00pm, at the Foodland grocery store in Kihei. During this event PHEV owners and prospective buyers will find informational charging demonstrations by Better Place, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf vehicles on hand for perusal, and will even be able to sign up for free PGEV charging services throughout 2012 courtesy of Better Place!
If you are considering a new car to park in the garage of you new Kapalua home, now is a great time to consider a PHEV for your daily driving needs. If you are interested in learning more about Better Place, visit their website here. And if after looking over Better Place’s services you would like to find a new beachfront Kapalua home or Coconut Grove condo to park your new PHEV, email us or visit our Facebook page to discuss your island home options with one of our luxury Maui real estate specialists. Mahalo!