Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) has donated four Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vehicles to the University of Hawaiʻi for the UH Mānoa, UH West Oʻahu, UH Hilo and UH Maui College campuses. The vehicles will be used for educational opportunities, at sustainability events and for official university business, including transporting faculty and staff to meetings and events.
“We are very grateful for this generous gifts,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are committed to become net zero by 2035 and part of that involves transportation, so this is a great way to help us. In the long term, as the importance of reducing reliance on fossil fuels for transportation grows, it is critical that Hawaiʻi’s public university system actively explores partnerships that enable us to reduce our carbon footprint every way we can.”
The four donated Smart ForTwo electric vehicles are lightly-used cars with an average mileage of 4,000 miles. They are valued at about $45,000 and HEI is also donating $5,000 to help pay for any expenses relating to maintaining or servicing the electric vehicles (EVs).
“Some of the most enthusiastic adopters of electric vehicles are university faculty and students, so we’re really pleased to keep spreading the word about EVs through this partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi,” said Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “We’re committed to Hawaiʻi’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and we believe EVs can also dramatically reduce the amount of oil used in transportation. We hope as more people see these Smart cars and other EVs on the road, they’ll also see how economical it is to substitute abundant solar energy for gasoline.”
“The University of Hawaiʻi has a long history of leading edge research in climate change and natural sciences, and has more recently adopted sustainability as a key institutional priority for the University of Hawaiʻi System,” said UH Sustainability Coordinator Matthew Kamakani Lynch. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the Hawaiian Electric Companies to help us achieve our ambitious renewable energy and broader sustainability goals.”
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Hawaiian Electric Company’s mission is to provide secure, clean energy for Hawaiʻi. For 125 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands’ development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd., and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc., serve 95 percent of the state’s 1.2 million residents on the islands of Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island, Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi
To commemorate their 125th anniversary year, Hawaiian Electric will carry out 125 Acts of Aloha for the community. These charitable donations and service projects will benefit agencies and programs committed to building a more sustainable future for Hawaiʻi
The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations www.uhfoundation.org.