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Electric vehicles need to be more affordable and accessible, Blue Planet Foundation says

A driver uses a fast-charging station for electric vehicles at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on April 2. As part of President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, $174 billion would go to supporting the production of electric vehicles in the U.S.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
A driver uses a fast-charging station for electric vehicles.

Environmental activists are pleased overall with many of the bills passed by the state Legislature during this year's session.

But they say more needs to be done, such as finding ways to make electric-powered transportation more affordable and accessible to a broader population of Hawaiʻi.

Melissa Miyashiro, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, shared what the organization would like to see when it comes to Hawaiʻi's electric vehicle infrastructure.

With rising gas prices, she says there is more awareness now of how much people are spending on transportation.

"People that have access to charging at home, they're fueling their vehicles from the electric grid. One of the things that is important for Blue Planet, particularly with affordability, we want to make sure that there's an adequate charging network available — not just for people that live in single-family homes and might be able to conveniently install a charger at their home," Miyashiro said.

"So many of us in Hawaiʻi, myself included, live in apartment buildings and we don't have access to electric vehicle charging at home," she told The Conversation.

Miyashiro says she relies on the public charging network, and sees firsthand how much work Hawaiʻi has to do to expand it.

"It's cheaper in the long run to own an electric vehicle. There's lower maintenance costs, and then there can also be fuel cost savings. So we want more people to have access to those options," she said.

This interview aired on The Conversation on June 2, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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