Hyundai, Enova and Hawaii Announce EV Introduction Program

November 20, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Enova Systems (Torrance, CA) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with the state of Hawaii and Hyundai Motor Co. (HMC, South Korea) to introduce electric vehicles into fleet use in Hawaii. Hawaiian governor Benjamin J. Cayetano hosted representatives from Enova and Hyundai at his executive offices at the state capitol, as they announced their precedent-setting partnership. This partnership will make Hawaii the introductory site in the United States for HMC's newly developed zero-emission Santa Fe Electric SUV. The Hyundai Santa Fe SUV utilizes electric propulsion, charge management and battery thermal management systems developed by Enova.

Two years ago, through the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project, a program was initiated to make Hawaii the first EV-ready state in the country through the installation of rapid-charging stations. The goal of this was to show the world Hawaii's commitment by providing the needed infrastructure for consumer acceptance of battery-powered vehicles. This recent announcement signals the next big leap forward in the process toward making EVs the standard by adding advanced-technology vehicles from HMC that utilize the charging infrastructure that has been set in place.

The test period will run for two years, starting in June 2001, and utilize a fleet of 15 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, provided by Hyundai, to be used by four participating sectors. Eventually, the charging infrastructure will be available throughout the state.

"We are pleased that Hyundai has selected Hawaii for the introduction of their new electric vehicle," Governor Cayetano said. "The state is committed to keeping our clean air free from pollution, and this step for Hyundai shows a great confidence in Hawaii's efforts to make electric vehicles a viable, zero-emission transportation option."