UH Hilo Receives Smart Car Donation

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is among three local nonprofit organizations on Hawaiʻi Island recently presented with Smart electric vehicles by the Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation and Hawaiʻi Electric Light Company. Vehicles and symbolic keys were also presented to the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaiʻi Island and HOPE Services Hawaiʻi.

At the Smart Car presentation. HELCo presented 3 smartcars to HOPE Services, UH-Hilo and Boys and Girls Club. — with Sen. Kaiali'i Kahele, Jerry Chang, Jennifer Zelko Schlueter and Sen. Russell Ruderman.  Photo Via Joy SanBuenaventura

At the Smart Car presentation HELCO presented 3 smart cars to HOPE Services, UH-Hilo and Boys and Girls Club. — with Sen. Kaiali’i Kahele, Jerry Chang, Jennifer Zelko Schlueter and Sen. Russell Ruderman. Photo Via Joy SanBuenaventura

The car is a lightly-used Smart for Two electric vehicle manufactured by Mercedes-Benz that is equipped with electric charging equipment. Smart electric vehicles have been rising in popularity in recent years due to their lower cost per mile than vehicles with a conventional gasoline-fueled engine, along with reduced carbon emissions and noise pollution levels.

“We are thankful and honored to have been selected as one of the recipients,” said University Relations Director Jerry Chang, who accepted the donation on behalf of UH Hilo during the November 17 presentation in Hilo. “This is another step in our goal of conservation and starting an Energy Science program at UH Hilo.”

The vehicle is presently located in the Auxiliary Services parking lot near the existing covered electrical outlet. Auxiliary Services Director Kolin Kettleson says the University’s goal is to use it when it’s practical, to increase UH Hilo’s visibility in the community.

“Because of the limited range and required charging times, this vehicle isn’t appropriate for the motor pool,” Kettleson said. “So we’re looking at assigning it to Administrative Affairs for the near future, to enable employees from the various divisions to use it for off-campus trips and meetings.”

UH Hilo was chosen as a recipient along with the UH Manoa, West O`ahu and Maui College campuses due to the integral role the University of Hawaiʻi plays in promoting Hawaiʻi’s goal to achieve a 100 percent clean, energy future.

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