Home > News > National Drive Electric Week 2017 – Waimea Event Report

Our September 9, 2017 Drive Electric Week event at the Kuhio Hale Farmers Market was a success. We had good weather, excellent volunteer participation, and a great turnout.  The venue allowed for great visibility from the main road through Waimea, good foot traffic from the market, and a gorgeous backdrop for our event.

We had over 100 people at our event, including several of our members. We had a good showing of electric cars: 6 Tesla Model S, 1 Tesla Model X, 2 BMW i3, 4 Chevy Bolts, 2 Chevy Volts, 4 Nissan LEAFs, 1 VW e-Golf, a Sondors electric bike, and an ELF solar bike. Darren Elisaga from HELCO brought in the island’s first BYD e6 (an electric from a BYD, a Chinese company).

Representatives from Blue Planet Foundation, Ulupono Initiative, Pacific Biodiesel, Provision, Rising Sun Solar, HELCO, and many of our members participated in the event.

Boris Huber-Bejerana  from BMW and Cody Phillips from Deluz Chevy provided several test drives with their BMW i3 and Chevy Bolt. Some of our members offered rides and drives with their electric vehicles.

We had a good flow of participants throughout the event. It helped that our farmers market manager did several Facebook live events on the market’s page – I think this resulted in more local residents coming out to attend the event.  Importantly, it was very rewarding to hear about visitors making purchase decisions after meeting with us and getting behind the wheel of EVs.  Several were still on the cusp of making a purchase decision but had outstanding questions about the ownership experiences. We even convinced a visitor with V12 twin-turbo Jag who mistook the car show for a typical gas guzzler event. When he found out it was about electric cars, he was about to leave in embarrassment. We chatted for a while about the role of electrification and the performance and the environmental benefits of EVs. He left after acknowledging “I guess this is the future.”

Many thanks to all who made our event a reality: Dan Manuel of the Kuhio Hale Farmers Market, Lauren Reichelt of Blue Planet Foundation (she helped organize the ride and drives) Noreen Reimel and Marcus Reimel (representing Ulupono Foundation), and our officers and members who organized and set up the event, addressed our guests, showed their cars, offered test drives and rides.

Special thanks to our national organizers: Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, and Nissan, our national sponsor, for the informational brochures, magazines, event giveaways, and supporting materials.

Our second event is on September 16, at The Home Depot in Hilo. See you there!

Here are a few images Waimea event. Thanks to Gary Miller, our association photographer, for the bulk of these images.

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