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Justin Carvalho

Kauai

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When Justin Carvalho attended the VERGE Hawaii energy conference in Honolulu in 2017, he saw an opportunity and left with an idea -- to rent out electric vehicles on his home island of Kauai. With his business partner, he immediately sought out used Nissan Leafs on Oahu and shipped them over.

That was the start of Mission Zero Hawaii, a rental car company that offers zero-emission vehicles on the Garden Isle. Currently, there are 15 EVs available to rent, including a couple of Teslas, Kia Souls, and BMW i3s, all based out of Justin’s Lihue house. Despite not having a Level 2 charger at home and no DC fast chargers on island, Justin manages to keep his fleet fully charged.

With more than 800 trips taken, Mission Zero Hawaii attracts both visitors who already have an electric car at home and want to remain environmentally conscious while on vacation, or others who are curious about driving electric and want to test one out. Justin is also reaching out to island hotels in hopes that Kauai’s resorts and businesses will become EV friendly. He provides information about electric vehicles and offers free consultations.
Justin dreams of expanding Mission Zero Hawaii and one day securing a commercial location with solar-powered chargers. He also looks forward to the day when trucks will be electrified, saying “Some of the more exciting stuff are the Rivian and Tesla trucks. It’s gonna be a big game-changer.”

Justin knows that while he is breaking ground in Hawaii, this is just the beginning. “As much as we try to do, there’s a lot more to be done,” he said. “If you’re not looking at the whole picture, you’re missing a lot.”

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