Sunday, May 9, 2010

Electric Cars and Maui's Roads

As an add-on to my last post, I suggested an alternate roadway for the use of only slower moving and lighter weight Electric Cars in Hawaii and particularly Maui.

My suggestion was tempered by the cost and compared to how hard it is to even get our existing roads up to a usable standard.

Well, low and behold in This Sunday's Maui News is a story about a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group finding that Hawaii only trailed two other states in the cost of vehicle repairs related to the shoddy roads.

According to the report, the Hawaii driver spends an average of $503.00 annually to make repairs to their vehicles that directly relate to the condition of Hawaii's roads. I would suggest that figure is much higher on Maui and if the number of abandoned vehicle were consider into the cost. Many people just can't afford to do the repairs to a "Maui Cruiser" and simply stop using them.

In addition, the report attributes 34,000 traffic deaths across the nation due to poor road conditions.

So based on that information, perhaps an entire alternate roadway designed for lighter and slower moving vehicles to connect the major areas of the islands and even some scenic, pleasing, tourist attracting roads could be very affordable over the long run. The trend is to use concrete now for road as opposed to oil based asphalt, so another opportunity to used concrete or maybe an even greener and more flexible alternative could be a realistically feasible project.

Planning it out before the vehicles start showing up on the roads and begin to be manufactured in Hawaii would be critical and aid in the adoption of the Electric Car in Hawaii and on Maui.

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