For eco-friendly / green minded travelers, this is the perfect car to enjoy an low-emissions vacation on Big Island. The 2013 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) runs 100% on electricity. The benefits are you will spend about 50% less on fuel charges, in addition to the rate to rent this car being lower than most car rental agencies in Hawaii at this time of year. Car will be fully charged when you pick it up.
I am out of town for a couple of weeks and you can pick up and drop off the car right at the Kona airport.
Here's what you need to know:
1.) You need some experience or know-how to operate this car.
2.) Car has range of plus or minus 80 miles on full charge.
3.) Big Island charging station availability is fair to moderate. A map to all known charging stations will be provided with complete addresses in the car as well as via Google Maps prior to your arrival. This is where your planning comes into play ;)
Let's look at #1 first. The reason is because even though EV's are wonderful, they require different planning.
If you are adventurous and have taken the time to familiarize yourself about how these cars work, I will definitely consider your request.
As long as you understand the car does not use gas at all, and must be charged either:
1.) at a special Level2 or Level3 charging stations ("fast charging) or
2.) At a standard household AC/DC plug outlet ("slow" or "trickle" charging).
For example, if you are staying at a B&B, you could ask ahead of time if they would allow you to "plug in" overnight to recharge. If the owner of the B&B says yes, great. If he or she says no, you will have to figure out another way to charge the car.
Now, let's look at the 2nd and 3rd caveats, charging infrastructure:
The Big Island only has a few charging stations -- there are two (2) Level2 chargers in Kona (one at Target, one at Wal-Mart) and two (2) Level3 ("fast chargers") along the Kohala coast. One is near the Queen's shops and the second is located by Snorkel Bob's in the Mauna Lani shopping area.
Again, as mentioned prior, assistance in finding these charging stations is provided inside the car will be a printed map with the exact locations of the stations marked, I will also email the Google map locations prior to your trip.
If you are staying at Marriott or Hilton Waikoloa, this won't be a problem -- there are charging stations on site.