Tour company rolls out state’s first commercial fleet of electric buses
March 8, 2019 Mahealani Richardson
The new eco-friendly? Meet Hawaii's first electric-powered tour bus fleet
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One the state’s largest tour companies ? JTB
Hawaii ? is rolling out the state’s first commercial fleet of electric
The three buses can go more than 200 miles on a three and a half hour
JTB Hawaii says the new buses aren’t about saving money.
“We have to do that because of the environment and a sustainable tourism
industry,” said CEO Keith Kitagawa.
JTB says customers ? and everyone else ? will appreciate quiet and
Mayor Kirk Caldwell was there for the blessing and acknowledged the city
should move faster in getting its own electric buses.
“Here’s the frustrating thing, JTB has started. They have the first three,
the first electric buses in the state of Hawaii and on Oahu. We need to do
our part in the City and County,” said Caldwell.
The city plans to eventually have 550 electric buses and convert all city
vehicles to electric by 2035.
Caldwell says electric buses more than make up for their higher front-end
cost by being more than 60 percent cheaper to power and maintain.
“They save money on fuel. They save money on maintenance in the long run.
It’s actually a benefit for business as well,” said Lauren Reichert, of Blue
They can also solve another big problem of too much solar power. The
electric company wants to call on electric vehicle fleets when there is too
much sun and too little demand for the electricity.
“We could, for example, send out a text to all our electric vehicle owners
and say you charge now there is a 20 percent discount help absorb some of
the solar that’s on our system,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric Company
Experts say ground transportation consumes 30 percent of the fossil fuel
burned in Hawaii and is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
[© 2019 Hawaii News Now hawaiinewsnow.com]
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