Curious about what Phoenix Motorcars has been up to? Taking trips to Hawai'i, apparently. The California company behind the all-electric Phoenix SUT (above) and SUV has announced it will bring electric vehicles to Maui by next year. What's interesting is that the Hawai'i-Phoenix joint press release also talks about Phoenix building "an electric vehicle infrastructure" there. In the statement, Gov. Lingle said that this project, part of the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative will "capitalize on Hawai'i's abundant natural renewable energy resources."

Details? Well, they're few and far between at this point, but Phoenix has apparently "signed a memorandum of understanding with Maui Electric for a test program using Phoenix Motorcars' electric pick-up trucks in the utility fleet." The first EVs should arrive in the first quarter of 2009. You can read the full press release after the jump.

This is Lingle's second big electric vehicle announcement this month. Last week, Better Place said it would put 50-100,000 charging stations in the islands by 2012. I knew Hawaii was the EV place to be.

UPDATE: More information from Phoenix on this deal here.


[Source: Phoenix Motorcars, State of Hawaii]

PRESS RELEASE:

GOVERNOR LINGLE, MAYOR TAVARES AND PHOENIX MOTORCARS ANNOUNCE INTENT TO BRING ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO MAUI BY 2009

Electric Vehicle Partnership Supports Hawai'i's Move Toward Energy Independence

Ontario, Calif. –December 9, 2008 Governor Linda Lingle today announced a plan to bring all-electric vehicles and an electric vehicle infrastructure to the island of Maui through a partnership with Phoenix Motorcars by 2009.

"This public-private partnership to bring electric vehicles to our state marks another significant development in the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative, as we seek to reduce Hawai'i's dependence on imported oil," Governor Lingle said. "It is also an important part of our Administration's five-point economic action plan, which includes attracting innovative private investments, especially in renewable energy technology. We appreciate the confidence Phoenix Motorcars has in the Hawai'i marketplace and the recognition of our ongoing collaborative efforts to capitalize on Hawai'i's abundant natural renewable energy resources."

Phoenix Motorcars has signed a memorandum of understanding with Maui Electric for a test program using Phoenix Motorcars' electric pick-up trucks in the utility fleet.

"We're very interested in testing electric vehicles from manufacturers like Phoenix Motorcars to use electricity generated by renewable resources during off-peak hours, and to determine whether electric vehicles can efficiently store that power and return it to the grid when there's high demand," said Ed Reinhardt, president of Maui Electric.

"This public-private partnership to bring electric vehicles to our state marks another significant development in the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative, as we seek to reduce Hawai'i's dependence on imported oil," Governor Lingle said. "It is also an important part of our Administration's five-point economic action plan, which includes attracting innovative private investments, especially in renewable energy technology. We appreciate the confidence Phoenix Motorcars has in Hawai'i and the recognition of our ongoing collaborative efforts to capitalize on Hawai'i's abundant natural renewable energy resources."

Phoenix Motorcars, an American manufacturer of zero emission, electric vehicles, is collaborating with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the County of Maui, Maui Electric Co., AES Solar, and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab to launch electric vehicle, charging and energy storage test programs. Phoenix Motorcars is also collaborating with the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency to identify additional technology partners for these Hawai'i-based programs. Phoenix Motorcars' first electric vehicle program is scheduled to launch on Maui during the first quarter of 2009. The company's mission is to deploy electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure solutions for the fleet vehicle market.

"We strongly endorse the mission of the State of Hawai'i, Maui Electric and the County of Maui to reduce Hawai'i's dependence on imported oil," said Dan Elliott, CEO of Phoenix Motorcars. "We are deeply honored to play a role in Hawai'i's Clean Energy Initiative."

"This is exciting progress in Maui County's commitment to developing the use of energy efficient technologies," said Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares. I'm pleased to work with a progressive and innovative company such as Phoenix Motorcars. Their work to help the environment is impressive. Phoenix Motorcars' intent to launch on Maui supports our county's focus to combine renewable energy with economic opportunities to create positive economic and educational benefits for our local community."

"Hawai'i is taking a clear leadership position on making electric vehicles a viable option for drivers in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said DBEDT Director Theodore E. Liu. "As we leverage Hawai'i's unique access to sources of renewable energy, we will create a sustainable and cost efficient model for the deployment of electric and other alternative fuel vehicles."

Phoenix Motorcars' arrival in Hawai'i furthers the progress of the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership formed in January between the State of Hawai'i and the U.S. Department of Energy which seeks to meet the state's energy needs from 70 percent clean energy by 2030. For more information on the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative, visit the Governor's web site at: www.hawaii.gov/gov/energy.

About Phoenix MC, Inc.
Phoenix Motorcars is an Ontario-Calif.-based manufacturer of all-electric, light-duty trucks and SUVs. The company's mission is to deploy electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure solutions for the fleet vehicle market.


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