With the state of Hawaii adding cash to its EV-rebate kitty, more electric-vehicle enthusiasts will likely be saying "Mahalo."

Hawaii added $350,000 to its electric-vehicle rebate program and extended the deadline for buyers of EVs and electric-vehicle chargers to collect on such rebates by seven months to Nov. 1. During the past year, the state has granted rebates for 618 EVs and chargers, drawing down the allotment for rebates to $37,000 before last week's extension and additional funding.

Hawaii will continue to offer rebates for as much as $4,500 on EVs and as much as $500 on chargers, in addition to the $7,500 incentive offered by the federal government for EVs.

The state said last month that, under its "EV Ready program," publicly accessible charging stations would be installed throughout every county in the state. "EV Ready" is part of a broader $4.5 million funding program from the U.S. Department of Energy. Hawaii is looking to cut transportation fuel use by 70 percent by 2030, when the state is also hoping to get 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Last November, Mitsubishi launched sales of its battery-electric i by giving one to Chad Miller, Hawaii's State Teacher of the Year, to drive for free for a year (pictured). As part of the promotion, Mitsubishi installed a charging station at Miller's school.

Electric-drive vehicle developments in Hawaii date back more than five years, when a converted Geo Prizm became the first registered battery-electric vehicle in the state. And, as we noted in 2006, Hawaii is one of the ultimate testing grounds for electric vehicles because of its relatively high gas prices, relatively short driving distances and the prospect of renewable energy from the state's abundant sun and wind.
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STATE REINVESTS IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE REBATE PROGRAM
State of Hawai'i adds another $350,000 to EV Ready Rebate Program and pushes the deadline for participation to November

HONOLULU – With the increase in demand for electrical vehicles, the state of Hawai'i is re-charging its highly successful EV Ready Rebate Program with an additional $350,000 for rebates on new electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and chargers. The state has also extended the deadline for the rebates from March 31 to Nov. 1, 2012.

"Expanding the EV Ready Rebate Program not only helps consumers today, it provides a long-term solution as we work towards reaching energy independence," said Mark Glick, Energy Program Administrator for the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism's State Energy Office. "The widespread adoption of EVs is critical if we are to reach the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative goal of displacing 385 million gallons of oil for ground transportation fuel by 2030. With the cost of gas persisting above $4 per gallon, these vehicles offer a cost-effective, long-term solution."

Since March 2011, a total of 618 rebates have been approved for 372 electric vehicles and 246 chargers, leaving the state rebate program with about $37,000. The new funding will increase the available total to $387,000. Through the Hawai'i Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Program, state residents can apply for rebates of up to $4,500 on purchases of electric vehicles and up to $500 for electric vehicles chargers. In addition to the state EV rebates, federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 (the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle credit) are also available for
highway-capable vehicles. This provides for the potential of up to $12,500 in rebates and tax credits for each electric car buyer.

The state rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will run through the Nov. 1 deadline or while funds last, whichever comes first. Rebate forms can be obtained from DBEDT's State Energy Office Web site at www.energy.hawaii.gov. The EV Ready Program is funded by Federal stimulus funds administered by DBEDT. By April 2012, approximately 220 charging stations, at roughly 100 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 publicly
available EV charging stations in Hawai'i can be found on the Hawai'i Charging Station Database, which is available on DBEDT's State Energy Office Web site.

DBEDT's Hawai'i Electric Vehicle EV Ready Program has also provided $2.6 million in grants for the systematic installation of electric vehicle 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. The State of Hawai'i's economic enterprise is to pursue energy independence by building a clean energy economy and reaching 70 percent clean energy by 2030. The DBEDT State Energy Office's mission is to act as a catalyst for efficiency measures, renewable energy resources, transportation initiatives, green jobs, and investments in Hawai'i's economy. For more information, visit www.energy.hawaii.gov.
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For more information, contact:
Mark Glick Rick Daysog
Energy Program Administrator Communications Officer
DBEDT's State Energy Office DBEDT's State Energy Office
Phone: (808) 587-3812 Phone: (808) 587-9006


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      @Spec: I wouldn't have too much confidence that geothermal will get steadily more economic. So far the record has not been good. Problems include tremors and outgassing, drilling through the tough rocks which cover geothermal reserves unlike the sedimentary rocks which oil lies under, and actual heat production being much less than had been forecast due to the geology so the profit projected at some of the installations just is not there. More specifically in Hawaii: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2010/10/11/story6.html?page=all
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      Yeah, I meant to add that geothermal is also very location specific. I took a close look at geothermal in Hawaii recently and wasn't very impressed, but in view of the favourable situation there for solar and even wind can't be bothered to seriously reconstruct my research with the links dead. Tidal, wave etc are very much research projects at the moment, and should not be regarded as a proven source of economic energy, and that won't change at least for years, if not decades, if it ever changes. Interestingly though the way solar is being installed in Hawaii is the least efficient way possible. They are sticking it mostly on house roofs. That would have to be fed into the grid to provide power for cars, and selling solar which keeps parked up cars shaded during the day at work whilst recharging them is quite a lot more efficient. The problem of overcoming diurnal variation in Hawaii is not insuperable though, as the daylength remains fairly constant, but you don't want to add that cost if you can avoid it. The Eastern side of the islands, and critically Honolulu, get way less sun than the Western, due to the wind direction. That is where most of the people live, and where the houses are, and where you don't want to put solar. What is the most economic is to have large thermal arrays on the Eastern side of the island where it is sunny. That's one of the things I don't like about solar, to get anywhere near making it economic you have to do a lot of environmental damage by grading the landscape to align the arrays, and create what is in fact an extensive ecological desert. Still, at least it is not the complete economic lunacy it is in most places it is being put in, and maybe you could even do something with the far less environmentally damaging pv arrays, maybe on people's roofs even. Again, I am not going to re-run my figures for this either, but here are some of the data sources I use if anyone does want to: http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe.html http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/aberdeen.html I also sourced electricity costs in Hawaii.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 1 Day Ago
      From what I was reading they're really just starting to look at it seriously. Their getting about 30 MW of Geothermal on the big island (20% of the island's electricity needs) and want to add 50MW more (which will push the big island over 50% on geothermal alone - no need to worry about baseline load there). Here's a nice page detailing their current Geothermal action: http://www.hawaiisenergyfuture.com/Articles/Geothermal.html It'll depend on which island your looking at for Geothermal, some won't be good and some will. Add the other renewables and its practically a crime Hawaii isn't all renewable already. Such a perfect place for EV's.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 1 Day Ago
      Don't forget to add geo-thermal energy there for renewables for Hawaii. There's no need for Hawaii to be generating their electricity from conventional sources (which have to be shipped in and are expensive) when they have such an abundance of renewables.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Hawaii is also ideal for wind, wave, tidal, ocean thermal and hydroelectric.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        My links have died, but they indicated that getting much from Geothermal in Hawaii would be tough, as although there is a lot there the specifics of temperature, the type of rocks etc are variable and in Hawaii's case unfavourable. That doesn't much matter to those keen on renewables, as solar looks economic in Hawaii as I previously shared calculations here to confirm. Having near constant year round sunshine makes a huge difference to costs and practicality, as does the high price of competitors. It would be cheaper yet to use nuclear, but solar actually works in Hawaii, unlike most of the places it is being installed in.
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      With the rising price of oil, I'm sure that geothermal energy is looking more and more economic every day.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Glad to see this at the state level where it's supposed to be. The fed rebate is funded by plain old theft. Power to the states, read the constitution.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Day Ago
        The federal EV tax credit allows you to keep more of your own money if you buy an electric vehicle. That means you pay less federal income tax, and as a "states rightser" allowing people to keep more of their own money in their own pocket and having the opportunity to spend it in their community as they see fit should make you happy. If you want to argue that the entire federal income tax system is unconstitutional well you might have a point there, but I doubt that any sitting federal judge would have the courage to rule to overturn it due to the instability such a change would create.