The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) announced Jan. 30 the extension of the state’s electric vehicle (EV) rebate program. With an additional $150,000 in funding, the rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will run through the new deadline of March 31, 2012 or until funds last, whichever occurs first.
Hawaii residents can apply for state rebates of up to $4,500 on purchases of EVs and up to $500 for EV chargers through the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Ready Program.
According to state reports, from early January 2011 to mid-January of this year, 528 rebates have been approved for 318 EVs and 210 chargers, with $153,999 remaining in funding as of Jan. 23. The additional funds increase the available total to $303,999.
“The State of Hawaii is definitely becoming a national leader when it comes to the acceptance of vehicles that are 100% electric,” said Mark Glick, energy program administrator for the DBEDT’s State Energy Office, in a press release. “With the cost of gas still on the rise, these vehicles offer consumers a cost-effective, long-term advantage. Expanding the EV Ready Rebate Program not only helps consumers today, but it will help our state in the long run as we work to reach our energy independence goals.”
The state’s release said that EV manufacturers continue to choose Hawaii as a location to rollout EVs because:
• Hawaii has the largest number of reservations per capita in the country for the Nissan LEAF.
• Favorable electricity time-of-use EV charging rates from electric utility companies.
• Moderate climate, limited driving distances and a strong tourism industry are ideal for EV utilization.
By April 2012, approximately 210 charging stations, at roughly 140 sites across all counties, will be installed as part of the EV Ready Grant Program. Some chargers will have the capacity to charge more than one vehicle at a time. A listing of publically available EV charging stations in Hawaii, as wel as the rebate forms, can be found on the Hawaii Charging Station Database at http://electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.
The EV Ready Grant and Rebate Programs are part of the Transportation Energy Diversification Project, which is supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds are directed for use in the Hawaii State Energy Program through the U.S. Department of Energy.
DBEDT's Hawaii Electric Vehicle EV Ready Program has also provided $2.6 million in grants for the systematic installation of EV chargers across the state; public education and outreach including an EV Ready Guidebook; introduction of EVs to rental car and county fleets; car-sharing services within the hospitality industry; and an online permitting system for charger installations at single-family residences on O'ahu.