LAHAINA - AAAAA Rent-A-Space's "Level 2" electric vehicle charging station is operational and available for public use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The storage facility and commercial center in Honokowai welcomed Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa as the first to use the charging station.
He powered up a Nissan Leaf owned by Shaun Stenshol, owner of BioBeetle Rental Cars and a member of the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance.
Mayor Alan Arakawa was the first to power up at the new vehicle charging station at AAAAA Rent-A-Space in
"As EV chargers become more available across the island, electric vehicles become more appealing as an alternative to gasoline-powered cars," said Arakawa.
"We are pleased that island residents and visitors will have more choices due to the opening of this EV charging station."
The charging station is a component of a recently installed 600-kilowatt photovoltaic system - the largest commercial photovoltaic power generation system operating in Maui County.
In addition to powering AAAAA Rent-A-Space and Retail Center, the system contributes to the state's "feed-in tariff" program, with the capacity to feed 2,880 kilowatt-hours into the island's electrical grid each day. This is enough clean, renewable energy to power up to 220 Maui homes.
"This is a very good example of using solar to electrify transportation, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels," said Dr. Anne Ku, director of the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance, a planning group sponsored by the University of Hawaii Maui College under a Department of Energy grant. "EV drivers will benefit from the 24/7 public access. We look forward to more initiatives like this."
AAAAA Rent-A-Space's photovoltaic system supports the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to have 70 percent of the state's energy for electricity and ground transportation come from clean energy by 2030.
"The installation of this charging station further demonstrates our dedication to embracing clean energy solutions and doing business in a manner that nurtures our island home," said Jim Knuppe, owner and founder of AAAAA Rent-A-Space. "Responsible stewardship of the land is one of our core values, and we're proud to contribute to our islands' efforts to wean itself from imported oil."