Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Lingle’s other transportation folly—10,000 electric vehicles to be assembled annually in Hawaii
by Larry Geller
The Superferry was not the only impractical transportation scheme that former governor Linda Lingle promoted in Hawaii. She also signed an MOU with CT&T, a Korean manufacturer of small electric cars and golf carts, to assemble 10,000 cars per year in Hawaii.
CT&T has just asked the Seoul Central District Court to place the company under court management. In its third quarter the company reported sales of 8.8 billion won, an operating loss of 22 billion won, and a net loss of 26.9 billion won, according to Korean-language reports on the Web earlier this month.
Here’s the deal, from the governor’s MOU:
To join the State of Hawai’i’s efforts to reduce foreign oil dependency and to promote new electric vehicle technology that will play a critical role in the achievement of the 70% clean energy goal by 2030, CT&T plans to bring a electric vehicle Regional Assembly and Sales facility to the State of Hawai’i in the near future. The CT&T Hawai’i Regional Assembly and Sales facility will be owned and managed directly by CT&T America with an anticipated total vehicle production capacity of 10,000 per year.
This memorandum sets forth the parties’ intention to cooperate with each other to carry out the above stated missions. CT&T will develop a Regional Assembly and Sales on O’ahu; to that end, the State of Hawai’i may provide assistance to promote Hawai’i’s commitment to the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles. This may include incentives for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles, site search assistance, and support for the development of advanced vehicle technology.
Of course, electric vehicles do not reduce Hawaii`s foreign oil dependency unless we have an awful lot of them and generate electricity from renewable sources. That’s just part of the hype.
It’s absurd to believe that 10,000 vehicles could be sold annually when they were too slow to go onto the H-1. In any case, it didn’t happen.
To put Lingle’s MOU in perspective, though, note that the same deal was offered to the government of Fiji. Actually… on Fiji a fleet of electric golf carts may make more sense.