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Free test drives of electric vehicles offered

PUHI — Sonja Kass has not paid for fuel for her car for the last two years.

“We put in a solar photovoltaic system to power up the batteries,” Kass said. “Ever since then, we charge up the car at noon and over the last 2.5 years, we have not gotten an additional charge from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative for charging up our vehicle.”

Kass was among the Kauai Electric Vehicle Alliance promoting a free electric vehicle ride-and-drive program which will take place at the Kauai Community Market from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Kauai Community College.

Sonia Kass plugs in the power cord to the Nissan Leaf Saturday during the Kauai Community Market at Kauai Community College.

Sonia Kass plugs in the power cord to the Nissan Leaf Saturday during the Kauai Community Market at Kauai Community College.

“I have a home PV system, too,” said Al Pugsley, a visitor from Kansas City. “It’s not as big as I wanted it to be, but since last year, it is enough for my two cars — a Tessler and a Nissan Leaf. Our system has three panels and it generates enough to drive the two cars more than 300 miles. That’s a lot of driving for us.”

 Al Pugsley, visiting from Kansas City, checks out the engine of a Kia EV while David Lee watches the Nissan Leaf Saturday during the Kauai Community Market at Kauai Community College.
Al Pugsley, visiting from Kansas City, checks out the engine of a Kia EV while David Lee watches the Nissan Leaf Saturday during the Kauai Community Market at Kauai Community College.

The free ride-and-drive program was accepting registrations for prospective users of electric vehicles being led by the Blue Planet Foundation and the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaii.

David Lee of the Electric Vehicle Alliance said he got his used electric vehicle last year from a local auto dealership.

“It’s three years old,” Lee said. “It’s a 2013 model, but when you get an electric vehicle, there is a tax credit so you are able to get better deals.”

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