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

On September 16, 2017, the BIEVA held a 3-hour National Drive Electric Week event at The Home Depot in Hilo. We had approximately 100 people in attendance during the course of our event. Several people happened upon our event while shopping at The Home Depot. We had one downpour but sunny weather prevailed for most of the event. Thanks to our site host, we had 4 pop-up canopies to provide shelter from the rain and sun and ample parking.

Several of our members joined our event and many brought their electric cars. A few traveled a long distance to make it to Hilo. Thomas Kraft drove all the way from Ocean View in a 1981 Mercury Lynx Conversion! Eric Hayden made it over Saddle Road from Kona in his NISSAN LEAF, and Jared Terpak made a special trip that took him from North Kohala to the Mauna Loa Observatories to Hilo. Read about his adventure here.

We had representatives from DeLuz Chevy, Kamaaina NISSAN, SunRun, HELCO, and the Hawaii Island Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Senator Russell Ruderman and Executive Assistant to Mayor Harry Kim, Lance Niimi, spoke about sustainable transportation and the role of electric vehicles in meeting our sustainability goals. Senator Ruderman also highlighted the nature of legislation that he’s sponsored, and opportunities for our community to express support for them in the future.

We had the honor of having a Plug In America founder, Mike Kane, in attendance. He was accompanied by Cathy Lam (a founder of Our1World.org, an international organization that promotes sustainability).

Cody Phillips from DeLuz Chevy offered several test drives of the Chevy Bolt. Member Clint Kolyer offered test drives and rides in his Tesla Model S.

We had 22 EVs at our event – from a 1981 conversion to the latest models from Tesla and Chevy. We even had a Chinese EV (the BYD e6), courtesy of HELCO.

  • 6 Nissan LEAF
  • 4 Tesla Model S
  • 3 Chevy Volt
  • 2 Chevy Bolt
  • 2 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • 1 Tesla Model X
  • 1 Kia Soul
  • 1 BYD e6
  • 1 ‘81 Mercury Lynx, Jet Industries conversion
  • 1 Toyota Prius Prime


Here are images from our event. Most of these were taken by Gary Miller. (Thanks, Gary!)


Thanks to our officers and extended leadership team who put in countless hours to enable this year’s events; thanks also to our guest participants (DeLuz Chevy, Kamaaina NISSAN, SunRun, HELCO, Citizens Climate Lobby), and our generous host – The Home Depot.

Extra thanks to members who showed up with their EVs. This event would not have been possible without EVs and owners who are willing to share their benefits with others.

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

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