MECO donates 3 electric cars to nonprofits

Maui Hui Malama Executive Director Pualani Enos waves from the front seat of an electric vehicle donated to her agency by Maui Electric Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation. Shawn Perry, a Hui Malama program participant, sits in the driver’s seat. Maui Electric Co. photo

Maui Electric Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation donated smart electric vehicles valued at more than $10,000 each to the University of Hawaii Maui College, Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui and Maui Hui Malama, the utility announced.

The SmartForTwo cars come equipped with electric charging equipment. Each group received an additional $1,500 to help pay for maintenance and servicing expenses for the electric vehicles.

The donated vehicles are lightly used, with average mileage of 4,000 miles. The organizations will use them for ground transportation and to promote clean air and connect at-risk youth with mentors.

Mercedes-Benz of Honolulu staff inspected, registered and ensured delivery of the vehicles. Electric vehicles have risen in popularity in recent years as people take greater notice of the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

HEI President and Chief Executive Officer Connie Lau said the utilities were proud to help the organizations while promoting the use of electric vehicles.

“At HEI, we strive to be a catalyst for our communities and word toward a better Hawaii,” she said.