Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No gas? No problem: Electric car sets example for future

John Wordin and his electric car are trying to set an example for Molokai's environment.

By Sara Kennedy
Molokai News : Environment

Driver concerned about gas prices and the environment

Have you seen a car that looks like no other driving around Molokai? You might mistake it for a fancy golf cart or even a space-age vehicle from The Jetsons.

In fact, it is not an ordinary car, it's an electric car and it's the only one on Molokai.

Owned by Kala'e resident John Wordin, the Dynasty Sedan, shipped from British Columbia, "generates a lot of interest."

To feed the curious minds, he actually does plug the car into a regular wall outlet. Every night, he plugs the car in, and when he wakes up, it's charged. According to Wordin, the car takes four hours to fully charge, equaling one kilowatt-hour, and will run for approximately 30 miles at 25 mph. The vehicle uses a lot of energy uphill, but with a full charge, he makes it around town just fine.

Wordin paid $14,500 for the car, and combined with shipping costs, the total price was around $20,000.

At his Kala'e home, 40 solar panels charge his vehicle and run the house. His water heater and outdoor power equipment are solar as well.

The car, if charged twice a day, costs Wordin an extra dollar on his electric bill and gives him approximately 30 miles. In comparison with gas prices, Wordin can travel 150 miles on five dollars, the cost for approximately one gallon of gas.

Besides helping his wallet, the car helps the environment. The average new vehicle has a smog/pollution index of 0.53 percent, while the electric car emits no pollution into the air.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for every gallon of gas burned, 20 pounds of pollution and carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

Wordin's concern about the environment has been growing since 1998. He read books and articles on the subject of America's fuel dependency and has been preparing himself for the necessary changes.

"My interest in this has evolved over a period of time," he said.

Wordin is trying to provide an example for the community. He has seen gas prices continue to rise, the economy fall and the environment suffer.

"People are still buying SUVs; something is definitely wrong," he said. "They just don't get it, oil is running out. The world is changing and I see examples everyday."

Wordin's dream is to see the whole island driving electric cars.

"Sure, it's possible," he said. "People just have to realize there are profound changes in the economy, as well as the environment."

Peter Rosegg of Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) said the time is not too distant when electric cars will cost less and be more readily available on the market. HECO is looking at the situation, "closely and optimistically." Sometime in the near future the company will be changing its meters to an advanced system that will let customers charge electric cars overnight for a cheaper rate.

Studies done by the Natural Resources and Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute have shown that, electric cars are cheaper than driving cars running on fuel.

eVehicles in Honolulu specializes in electric vehicles and can be reached at 589-2347.


1 comment:

Robert Linkonis Sr. said...

1. Aptera's Typ-1 - Business Wire
2. Honda Prius - Koji Sasahara/AP
3. Hybrid-only Lexus - Itsuo Inouye/AP file
4. Chevy Volt - General Motors via AP
5. Tesla Model S - Gus Ruelas/Reuter
6. Porsche Panamera - Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
7. Venturi Astrolab - Michel Zumbrunn