EV Coalition Targets Orlando (Hawaii Should be Next)

By · September 10, 2013

Drive Electric Orlando

The coalition in Orlando includes such heavyweights as Enterprise, Nissan, the Electrification Coalition and Sabre Holdings.

I am reporting this week from Hawaii’s tourist capital, and in fact spent the evening at a luau on Waikiki Beach. Parked in front of the Royal Hawaiian was a Chevy Volt, proof positive that electric cars have made inroads into travel destinations like this one.

Hawaii, which has 1,783 EVs on the road and is a Top Ten market nationally for the Nissan LEAF, could model its plug-in plans on Orlando, which late last week announced plans to put its 57 million annual visitors into green cars. What Orlando now appears to have is wide community buy-in and awareness, essential to get the cars over the hump and building volume. But many aspects of the Orlando plan have yet to be implemented.

Drive Electric Orlando is a new coalition involving the Electrification Coalition (EC), Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Nissan and Sabre Holdings (which represents travel agents). EC was the catalyst, reasoning that Orlando visitors who had a positive electric vehicle experience in Orlando could become ambassadors for plugging in their own communities.

According to Drive Electric Orlando, it has persuaded 27 hotels to install electric vehicle charging, including 30 480-volt fast chargers donated by partner Nissan. The Nissan chargers are coming soon, and just in time: PlugShare, the station finding tool used on the organization's website, does not currently list a single quick charger.

“Hotels are an important part of completing the loop for EVs,” said John Gartner, who leads the smart transportation group at Navigant Research. “It makes sense if tourists can rent them at airports and then be guaranteed a place to charge them daily at their hotels.”

Major destinations signed on to the coalition include Disney World, Sea World and Universal.

Drive Electric Orlando

Disney World could be plugging in, but the tourist attraction does not yet have any charging stations.

Sam Ori, an EC vice president, said that the new coalition will be placing charging stations strategically where they make the most sense for tourists. No timetable was mentioned. Part of the package is 15 Nissan LEAFs parked at Enterprise’s rental counter at Orlando International Airport. They rent for $30 a day, according to Lisa Martini, an Enterprise spokesperson, a price that carries no electric premium. Some hotels will be parking them via a free valet service.

Pick Up Your Car at the Airport

Martini said Enterprise has put 15 Nissan LEAFs at Orlando International Airport. The rental price, $30 a day (including GPS), is comparable to conventional cars, she said. Customers opting for EVs should be able to charge them at virtually any major hotel in the city (including via valet parking).

Ori sees the Florida experiment as a template for other tourist destinations and, indeed, it’s viewed that way here in Hawaii. Speaking at the Asian Pacific Clean Energy Summit, Ethan Elkind of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, co-author of a new report on EVs in Hawaii, points to the islands’ eight million tourists annually as future ambassadors for EVs—if an Orlando-like coalition can be formed.

“We see a major opportunity for people to come here, rent an EV, and demystify the process,” he said. “They’ll get over any preconceived notions that electric cars are clunky or might explode.”

Comments

· · 46 weeks ago

Leaf is a NOT a good idea on the big island....

On the smaller island, it will work....

· · 46 weeks ago

Three of Hawaii Islands. Have quick charging. The Big Island doesn't, but from one side to the other is ~100 miles. Stop to tour for an hour & plugging in nets 30 more miles. As Hawaii moves toward 70% renewable energy by 2030, EVs can fill a major role providing non-polluting transportation.

Bonus: EVs in Hawaii receive free parking.

· · 46 weeks ago

@Brian
Hawaiian Islands may be trying to move toward 70% renewable energy by 2030 but right now, they get 90% of their electricity from imported oil. I believe that they are the worse state for getting electricity from fossil fuels. If ever there was a state that is NOTcurrently a good state to use plug-ins, it is Hawaii (assuming that your reason for using a plug in is to reduce carbon emissions).

· · 45 weeks ago

Well, Hawaii's a lousy state for charging off the grid, sure. But the economics of a solar charged EV are among the best in the world. :-)

· · 45 weeks ago

@regman,

You may be right, but I would still argue it is worth starting this program now. If anything, it will encourage the state to follow through with its plan for 70% renewables.

@vike1108,

I believe this article was about tourists renting EVs. I doubt they will have access to solar panels (unless the hotels start installing them, I guess).

· · 45 weeks ago

@Brian: Ya, I should have preceded that with a @regman. I wasn't responding to the article so much as regman's broad comment that Hawaii's a particularly lousy place for EVs. And we need to keep in mind that the efficiency of electric propulsion is so high that EVs are never significantly worse than gasoline cars. Even powered by pure coal, it's been calculated that net carbon emissions from EVs are similar to a 40 MPG gasoline powered car. Unless they passed up renting a Prius, our hypothetical EV-driving hotel guests are still ahead of the game.

· · 45 weeks ago

@regman

"...... If ever there was a state that is NOTcurrently a good state to use plug-ins, it is Hawaii (assuming that your reason for using a plug in is to reduce carbon emissions)......"

Looks like you can relax a bit regman, apparently CO2 is doing no harm at all, when considering that a 2007 BBC article said that the Arctic Ice Extent would be "ice free" by 2013, when in fact, satelight images show 920,000 square miles of ADDITIONAL ICE in only one year. See the Daily Mail link for details:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415191/Global-cooling-Arctic-ic...

· · 45 weeks ago

@regman

I especially like the fact that 20 Yachts got stuck and a cruise ship had to turn back because all the big experts were sure that there would be a "Northwest Passage" this year as there was 100 years ago. No such luck this year. An emporer's New Clothes situtation if there ever was one.

This proves the media is biased. Can you image if there were a 60% decrease in Ice? It would be blaring from every radio all day. I just happened to stumble upon the above link. A 60% increase in ice extent is something only some of us want to hear about.

· · 45 weeks ago

@vike1108
I never said that Hawaii was a lousy place for EVs as a broad comment. I am stating that if your main concern is environmental (i.e.CO2 emissions), it is not the best place. From a payback point of view, I don’t know what the $/kWhr relative to the $/gallon is in Hawaii to know if there is a better payback time going electric. Also, aside from the big island, most of the distances you would drive are well within the ranges of the typical 80-100 mile ranges. So for these reasons, Hawaii may be a good place to have an EV.

· · 45 weeks ago

@Bill: Well, okay, if it's a battle of the British press partisans we want, why not?

From the Guardian: Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph
Both UK periodicals focus on short-term noise and ignore the rapid long-term Arctic sea ice death spiral

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/201...

. . . the main point being that the "growth" of the ice cap is only relative to last year's scary melt season. Compared to more long term measures, as the Christian Science Monitor reported in a recent piece noting the Mail story, "the current sea-ice extent is still nearly 400,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average minimum."

While I'm not going to say any of these sources are fonts of incontrovertible wisdom, I think it only fair to point out that the Mail piece you cite, and especially the spin it puts on the story, ain't exactly gospel either.

· · 45 weeks ago

Oops, hit the Submit key instead of the Preview - anyways, I had intended to end that with:

I would encourage interested readers to do some web searches on "increased arctic sea ice", check out articles from multiple sources, and make up your own minds.

· · 45 weeks ago

@Vike1108

I'm sorry this is really grasping at a thin reed. You simply cannot minimize the significance of expansion of 19,000 Manhattan Islands worth of Ice in a 12 month time frame. Also, every single one of the sixty plus computer models used by the AGW group have been proven to be dead wrong.

That's not a track record to brag about. Of course then there is the out and out Lieing about Polar Bears drowning, and being an endangered species, when the Polar Bear population has grown five fold, and can swim at least 50 miles at a crack.

The significance of this is seen by the way the big experts are flipping out over this.

Almost as funny as the facial expression that John Kerry has on his face these days after Putin Outsmarted him.

· · 45 weeks ago

@vike1108

This is from the current "Chair" of the IPCC. The AGW croud used to always point to these groups as a "source authority". Ok, well, here's what he's saying now:

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2013/09/20130...

To me a little bit of candor is always refreshing, and good news.

So, Hawaians don't have to wet their beds regarding their EV purchase. Time to Relax.

· · 45 weeks ago

@vike1108

Ok just reread the link, I cant be certain that this is the "chair's" view, or a Canadian reporter's synopsis of his views. Or, the photo has no relation to the story. Anyway, several important points were mentioned.

This can be therefore totally dismissed as rubbish if you are looking for the first reason to do so. But it is illuminating that an "Environmental Reporter" is not toeing the company line, and feels secure enough in his job to do so.

· · 45 weeks ago

@Bill - well, the site has freaked out and is not letting me preview anything this evening, so if I can't figure out a workaround I'll have to save my comments and try again tomorrow.

· · 45 weeks ago

Okay, what's continuing to happen this morning is that everything I try to post beyond a couple of lines is coming back with "The requested page could not be found."

Not sure if the site's broken or I'm being throttled or whatever. I'll see if it happens on other pages here. Whether it's malfunction or something less benign, I tend to lose patience w/this kind of thing pretty quickly.

· · 45 weeks ago

@Vike1108

I too in the past have had technical problems with this sight, but not in the past few months. Perhaps restarting your computer from scratch or running CrapCleaner on it will make this site perform better? Maybe going to internet options, then clearing all your caches usually speeds things up for me.

· · 45 weeks ago

@Bill - went to office (so a different PC altogether) and tried it from there, same problem. I haven't figured out the exact size that triggers the error yet, but it's bigger than this.

· · 45 weeks ago

. . . and just finished some tests pasting in large blocks of "....|....1" format lines, over 4000 characters worth - and I can preview them no problem. So it's not the sheer size - there's something magically screwy about the content of the post? Alas, as I feared, I am already losing interest . . .

· · 45 weeks ago

@Vike1108 - So what were you going to say?

· · 42 weeks ago

@Bill: Forget it. Tried again this evening - I've done longer posts elsewhere here today, so came back here to try again. Either my text or this thread is just broken in some weird way, I've stopped caring why.

Shortest summary I can manage - I quickly weary of the "whys" of the climate change debate. My larger concern is that climate appears to be changing for whatever reason, and regardless of exactly how much, we know that it will eventually change a lot, because it always has. We're now smart enough and know enough that we should be retuning for maximum resiliency in ways that don't wreck the whole economy. Otherwise, we die off a bit sooner than we otherwise might. That probably doesn't matter a lot in the great scheme of things - but to paraphrase one of my favorite philosophers, how much does the great scheme of things matter to us, anyway?

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