Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It’s Electric! Hawaii Anticipates a Car Revolution

Brian Goldstein, Scott Saffian, Mark Piscioneri
The industry that hopes to bring all-electric vehicles to Hawaii consumers made news in recent days, so yesterday’s Energy Futures program had the advantage of also being exceptionally timely.

Better Place announced a $350 million private financing deal yesterday, and Brian Goldstein, the company’s Honolulu representative, was with us to describe it and reaffirm Better Place’s plans for the Hawaii market.

Only Hawaii and California’s Bay Area are the announced targets for Better Place’s near-term efforts in the United States, and Goldstein said his job is to be sure Hawaii has priority over California. Significant development of the company’s network could begin within a couple years after the initial push in Israel and Denmark.

Also in the studio were Mark Piscioneri, Oahu Manager of Maui-based Hawaii Electric Vehicles, which presided over the dedication of Honolulu’s first electric vehicle charging station in Kakaako last Saturday. The Charge Point station is manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, and a last-minute addition to the show was Scott Saffian, the company’s senior vice president for sales.

Contributing in the program’s last segment was Hawaii Solar Energy Association President Mark Duda, who answered callers’ questions on solar energy. We’ll continue to take such calls until they taper off, so Mark will be back next Monday in the program’s third segment.

Monday, February 1

Next Monday’s program will focus on sustainable agriculture and its relationship to energy efficiency. Guests will be Richard Ha, president of Hamakua Springs Country Farms located on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, and Jerome Renick of the Integrated Ac\griculture Network, also on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

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