Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels was one of 10 nonprofit organizations selected to recently receive a Smart electric vehicle, donated by Aloha United Way, in partnership with Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation. The donations were made at “EVs for a Better Hawaii,” at Tamarind Park in downtown Honolulu on Monday, October 24, 2016.

ev-donation-21Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation deputy director; Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO and chairman of the HEI Charitable Foundation; Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO; and Cindy Adams, Aloha United Way president and CEO presented Michelle Cordero-Lee, Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels CEO, and representatives of the other nonprofit organizations ceremonial keys for their vehicles.

“Hawaiian Electric is committed to Hawaii’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and continues to work toward a clean energy future,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “Through this Smart electric vehicle donation, and more to follow on Hawaii Island and Maui, we hope to encourage electric vehicle use as a cleaner transportation option for customers throughout our state.”

Each car was equipped with electric charging equipment, and is valued at more than $10,000. HEI worked closely with Mercedes-Benz of Honolulu, who inspected, registered, and ensured delivery of the electric vehicles to the nonprofit organizations. The HEI Charitable Foundation also gave each nonprofit $1,000 for operating expenses.

“The HEI Charitable Foundation is proud to partner with AUW to recognize these amazing organizations and promote the use of electricity as an alternate fuel source for transportation,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO and chairman of the HEI Charitable Foundation. “We can’t wait to see these vehicles helping these organizations improve the lives of people in our community and help make Hawaii a better place to live for all.”

“Using this electric vehicle not only will be better for the environment, but also will better support our mission,” said Michelle Cordero-Lee, Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels CEO. “The money we save on fuel can be used to provide more meals to meet the growing needs of our community. We are grateful to HEI and AUW!”

Brad Akamu, Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels Volunteer Coordinator, who was also at the donation ceremony, added: “This vehicle will be ideal for our meal delivery routes in downtown and Waikiki because of the limited parking in these areas. The car’s small size makes it easier to maneuver into small spaces to park. The narrow roads for our routes in Kalihi will also make driving safer and more efficient for us.”

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