Govt. reveals electric car strategy

By Adel Fruean 21 October 2021, 9:35PM

A car that runs on electricity and is Samoa’s first fully electric SUV was unveiled in Savai’i on Thursday with the Government heralding its impact in promoting sustainable energy use.

The Hyundai KONA comes courtesy of local motor car dealer Ford Hyundai Samoa.

The vehicle was unveiled in a ceremony at the Apita-o-Pisaga hall in Salelologa, Savai’i with the representatives of the various stakeholders in Samoa’s energy sector on hand to witness the occasion.

The Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Olo Fiti Vaai, represented the National Energy Coordination Committee (N.E.C.C.) and the Prime Minister at the unveiling and said the event marks the second sustainable energy programme this year.

“The purpose of today’s event is to raise public awareness on the objectives of the energy sector sealed in the Energy Management Act 2020,” he said.

He added that one of the priorities in the Energy Sector Plan is land transportation as it is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide not only in Samoa but across the globe.

“Therefore, the Energy Sector through the Electric Power Corporation initiated a pilot project bringing in electric vehicles to assess its feasibility for Samoa, while aiming at mitigating climate change,” said the Minister.

“Hence the theme Sustainable Transportation through the introduction to electric mobility."

Olo also said that the Energy Sector, as one of the key outcomes in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa, focuses on ensuring sustainable and affordable energy supply for all through the achievement of the five long term outcomes as outlined in the Samoa Energy Sector Plan 2017-2022.

“Across the sector’s five long-term outcomes is the promotion and dissemination of information or raising of awareness which is why we gather here today [Thursday],” he said.

“The E.P.C. has been mandated by the Government of Samoa through the N.E.C.C. to conduct a pilot study on electric vehicles. 

“The main goal of this project is to obtain data and information which will enable the government to make important decisions as it looks at the possibility of moving away from vehicles using fossil fuels.

“It is one thing to be operating a vehicle using clean energy but we also need to know whether they are economical, durable, serviceable and easy to maintain. 

“This pilot project will hopefully provide these answers.” 

Olo also congratulated the Ford Hyundai Company for winning the tender to procure the vehicles for the Government-run project and wished them well.

“I wish them [Ford Hyundai Company] and E.P.C. all the best as they endeavor on this important partnership,” he said.

“My special thanks to the Energy Sector Colleagues for coordinating and hosting this event and the continuous support from government ministries, corporations, non-government organisations and the private sector as well as everyone who are here to support this event.” 

The E.P.C. Chief Engineer, Fui Tupai Mau Simanu, said that the pilot project is an important step in the integration of a new technology in Samoa.

He said looking at the feasibility of this new technology in the Pacific the E.P.C. can demonstrate that there are benefits of adopting the green alternative to petroleum fueled cars.

Electric vehicles will not only lessen the reliance of Samoa on imported fossil fuels but it will also play a role in the reduction of carbon dioxide, said Fui.

The vehicle's driving range is 484 kilometres and can be charged at home through an Evnex Charger.  

By Adel Fruean 21 October 2021, 9:35PM

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