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Drive Electric Earth Day car festival set for April 22

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i EV will hold a Drive Electric Earth Day event on Saturday, April 22, 2023, to promote the use of electric vehicles on Kaua‘i.

“The purpose is to make the general public aware of how cool electric cars are, how sustainable they are, how cheap they are, and how much fun they are to drive,” said Sonja Kass, the event’s planner.

Kaua‘i EV is the local chapter of the statewide organization Hawaii Electric Vehicles Association, which is part of the Electric Vehicle Association of America. Drive Electric Earth Day events are taking place across the country throughout the month of April as part of a national campaign to accelerate the use of electric cars.

Kass said that the organization is trying to democratize green transportation, increase the use of renewable resources, decrease the use of fossil fuels, and decrease the number of gas-powered vehicle miles traveled.

Attendees will be able to speak with vehicle owners and view at least 13 electric car models “without any sales pressure,” said Kass, who owns two Nissan Leafs.

The event also includes an hourly drawing, where three individuals will win a free two-day rental of a Tesla Model Y, a Tesla Model 3, or a Kia Niro EV — donated by electric car rental company Mission Zero Hawai‘i.

There will also be drawings every 15 minutes for smaller prizes, including blankets, baseball caps and T-shirts.

According to Kass, about 1 percent of people on Kaua‘i drive electric cars.

“We are really low. It’s very disappointing,” said Kass, adding that the state average is over 2 percent.

“If everybody tomorrow got an electric car, our grid would be in trouble because we are on an island. We need to build up the grid,” she said.

But according to Kass, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative has integrated enough vehicle charging stations to double or triple the current rates.

“And that would be really good for the environment while allowing the grid to grow,” she said.

Kass estimated that there have been more than 20 electric car festivals on Kaua‘i, and that they usually receive about 100 attendees.

“It’s usually a fun event,” said Kass, adding that Kilauea Bakery is sponsoring the event with free cupcakes.

The festival is set to take place in the county parking lot on ‘Eiwa Street behind the Kaua‘i Museum from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-652-0638 or
Source: The Garden Island

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