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Honolulu Transit Thread (HTT)

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H O N O L U L U (( Transit Thread ))

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photo credit to >> [email protected]

Hawaii to be FIRST STATE with electric car stations :)

State Rep. Kymberly Pine, Better Place founder Shai Agassi, Gov. Linda Lingle and state Rep. Gene Ward looked under the hood of a model electric car yesterday at the state Capitol.

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Sources: Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star Bulletin

Here's some pretty awesome news for Hawaii and very good to see given the high fuel costs and dependency on foreign oil.

Hawaii has unveiled plans to be first in the nation to roll out electric car stations statewide

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Here's kind of a fascinating idea being pushed around by someone living in one of Honolulu's suburbs:

Kailua pushed as model for electric vehicles

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Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A longtime Windward resident wants Kailua to become the first community in the nation to integrate alternative transportation and renewable energy-using small electric vehicles, "solar orchards" and a community barn-building concept from America's past.

Tony Locricchio of Maunawili, owner of Renewable Electronics Transportation International, wants to show the nation that it can make the transition to a more cost-effective mode of transportation with the least amount of hassle and notable savings.

And do it now.

"All of this is existing technology," Locricchio said. "There is no waiting until we produce the technology down the road."

The plans call for a comprehensive system involving the use of small electric vehicles, a ferry to transport these vehicles on the freeway, a local assembly plant for these vehicles, solarization of neighborhoods, fleet vehicles for community use and quick-change stations offering battery packs that would power electric vehicles as well as homes.

The chance of getting the proposal off the ground will depend on federal funding and support, and Locricchio said he hadn't even thought of promoting the idea until Barack Obama was elected president and promised to change national energy policy.

He believes his system could pay big dividends for people who use it.

He estimates the pilot project will cost about $1.2 million.

He'll take his proposal to the Kailua Neighborhood Board meeting tonight and plans to lecture about his project at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on Jan. 27.

He has persuaded two U.S. senators, not from Hawai'i, to take his proposal to the Obama administration. He said he's still trying to persuade his own congressmen to support the plan.

The electric cars would be one-person vehicles that would be transported on freeways by Land Integrated Ferry Transporter that moves about 40 at a time. The problem of how to get somewhere after getting off a mass-transit line would be solved because drivers could simply drive off the transporter and to their final destination. And four of the vehicles fit in a standard parking stall, Locricchio noted.

A community fleet of vehicles could also cut costs and includes a method for the big automobile companies to pay back government for any federal bailout, he said.

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler would supply a fleet that includes SUVs, trucks and sedans for residents to use for such activities as soccer events, picnic or family outings.

Locricchio, an attorney with about 20 years of experience developing electric vehicles, wants to run a pilot project in Kailua that would include an assembly plant for the electric vehicles and quick-change battery stations

His proposal calls for "barn-raising" projects in which neighbors help each other install solar systems and earn sweat equity toward their own solar system. Neighborhoods would apply for federal funds and people would pay back the loans with money they saved by not using the public utility, Locricchio said.

There would also be "solar orchards" that could be installed along property lines, in parks, along roads and on school rooftops. The "fruit" of the orchard would be charged, 24-pound battery packs.

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What do you think?

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