a abreath of fresh air outside of your maui condo rentalA place of unparalleled beauty, Hawaii is as close to paradise you can experience without traveling to a foreign country. While it is very easy to enjoy this spectacular beauty which the islands have to offer (especially when staying at one of our amazing Maui condo rentals!) keeping our Hawaiian home living up to the “paradise” moniker is not without its challenges. As with any modern vacation destination, Hawaii has many of the same conveniences found in most cities around the world; supermarkets, fast food chains, and automobiles, just to name a few. With these conveniences inevitably comes a few unwanted side effects: burger wrappers blowing in the wind, cola cans and bottles rolling about, and vehicle emissions entering the air above the clouds. Thankfully, just as the spirit of aloha encourages those in Hawaii to extend a hand to even a stranger in need, so too does this spirit of helping extend to the environment which we live and vacation upon.

Over the years, many programs to keep our island home worthy of the name “paradise” have come into effect with much success; from the hi5 can and bottle recycling program, to the recent ban on environmentally unfriendly one time use plastic shopping bags. Another string of successful initiatives has been the drive (pun intended) to get more people in the state into more environmentally friendly vehicles. With many great tax breaks and incentives available to the average consumer who wishes to trade in their old gas guzzler for a much more environmentally friendly hybrid or electric vehicle, it’s not uncommon to find many of these “green” cars on roads throughout Hawaii. So popular are these formerly “alternative powered” vehicles that one major Japanese automotive manufacturer recently delivered its first production electric vehicle (EV) made for the North American market to a lucky couple in Hawaii.

Bryson and Bridget Nishimura of Waipahu received the very first production Mitsubishi i to reach North American customers in a special ceremony recently held at the State Capitol. A light footprint, five door hatchback not unlike its competitor the Nissan Leaf, the 2012 Mitsubishi i is a truly versatile all electric car, with spacious seating for up to four people, a rear wheel drive configuration, and an astonishing EPA certified 112 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent, rating on the road. Along with this fantastic MPGe number is the equally impressive number of on road emissions this cool little vehicle produces: 0. that’s right, Zero emissions are generated while driving thanks to the fact that the Mitsubishi i is a 100% electric vehicle; getting its power not from a dirty old gas fed combustion engine, but a state of the art battery pack which can be recharge in the convenience of your own garage. Cars like these are absolutely perfect for traveling to and from your waterfront Maui vacation home, as they give you all the versatility of a normal car, while keeping our island paradise free of harmful vehicle emissions.

While the Nishimura’s are surely enjoying their brand new Mitsubishi i on the roads of Oahu, the rest of us will need to wait just a tiny bit longer to get our hands on this great new vehicle; deliveries to early customers have already begun, with the full scale rollout scheduled to begin in early 2012. Check out i.mitsubishicars.com for more information on this paradise friendly little EV; and be sure to ask your rental car agent about their environmentally friendly rental options the next time you’re planning on booking a weekend at your favorite beachfront Wailea condo rental or South Maui vacation home: not only will you enjoy the amazing Maui sunsets, you’ll enjoy the feeling of keeping those sunsets smog free too!