Hawaii wants to consign gas stations to a bygone era

Friday, January 16, 2009, 12:06 AM | Leave Comment

The State of Hawaii is about to introduce a huge experimental project. It is about electric cars that, if successful, could consign gas stations to a bygone era.

With the help of a California company called Better Place, the State wants to implement the technology and the network of charging stations.

Optimum functionality
Three things are needed for optimum functionality:

  • Charging spots
  • Battery switching stations
  • Software that automates the experience

Open, standards-based approach
Due to the open, standards-based approach that Better Place has adopted in the development of its batteries, there will be many manufacturers contributing to the pool of available batteries.

This will maintain a steady supply and stable prices as more and more nations join them in their efforts to remake transportation as a sustainable service.

  • The charging spots will keep the batteries topped off with power so that they always have 100 miles of driving capacity
  • They are located where you work, live, shop and dine – in parking lots – so that an electric car will have the ability to recharge when the software instructs it to top off
  • For trips longer than 100 miles (161 km), battery switching stations will be available roadside
  • Stations are completely automated, and the driver’s subscription takes care of everything
  • The driver pulls in, and the depleted battery is quickly replaced with a fresh one, without anyone having to leave the vehicle
  • The process takes less time than it does to fill a tank of liquid fuel

How and why the State wants to do it

  • Reduce the country’s addiction to petroleum through a network of auto charging stations.
  • Better Place has agreements with automaker Nissan as well as Denmark and Israel. They are to help the State with installing thousands of stations throughout Hawaii this year, laying the groundwork for large-scale electric use by 2012.
  • Hawaii’s access to an abundance of renewable energy resources like solar and wind makes it an ideal location to serve as a blueprint for reducing the U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
  • Hawaii’s proposed electric car plan should be of special interest to folks who are on fixed incomes, and the cost of energy is often an uncontrollable variable.

Moral of the story
If the State of Hawaii is successful in implementing electric cars throughout the state and it turns out that it is beneficial to the citizens of this great and innovative country, then other states would hopefully follow their footsteps.

What do you think?

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