New product makes world debut at Hawaii auto show

Published On: Mar 22 2013 09:39:30 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 23 2013 09:05:07 AM HST

Imagine if you could gas up your vehicle for free, and for the rest of your life.  A new product to help you do that made its world debut Friday at the International Auto Show at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Most people are familiar with electric vehicles and a photovoltaic system, but experts say many Americans do not know how the vehicles connect to their home to power up and how much it would all cost.

"We combine it, all at the same time," said Alex Tiller, founder and CEO of Autowatts.  "We make it easy so you can understand what it's going to cost you to own the car and power the car."

Autowatts is a startup company from Colorado that decided to unveil its product in a place ideal for EVs.

"Hawaii is to the electric vehicle what Napa is to the grape," said Hawaii Automobile Dealers' Association Executive Director David Rolf.  "Perfect conditions. I mean, short commutes, perfect temperatures and good public policy."

The product helps run calculations so consumers and dealers can see what it would cost to buy and power an EV and understand its value, along with additional savings with a solar power.

If you spend $50 a week on gas, Tiller said that in three to four years, you would have enough to buy a home photovoltaic system that could also power your car.

"You rearrange the money," Tiller said.  "You take the money from gasoline and you lower it, because you're now using electricity and solar.  And then you take that leftover and you use that to pay for the car and it really frees up a lot of money.   And then, within a few years that actually pays itself off and you drive for free."

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