State Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program

January 31, 2012, 1:33 PM HST · Updated January 31, 3:13 PM
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2012 Mitsubishi "i"electric vehicle. Courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

By Sonia Isotov

The State of Hawai’i is re-energizing its successful EV Ready Rebate Program with an additional $150,000 and has extended the deadline for rebates on new electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and chargers from January 31 to March 31, 2012.

Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will run through the deadline or while funds are available, whichever comes first. The state anticipates an increase in consumer demand for new electric vehicles this year.

From early January 2011 to mid-January of this year, 528 rebates have been approved for 318 electric vehicles and 210 chargers, with $153,999 remaining in funding as of January 23. The additional funds increase the available total to $303,999.

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Rebate forms are available on the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) State Energy Office website at electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.

Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. File photo.

“The State of Hawai’i 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 written statement yesterday.

“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.”

Hawai’i residents can apply for state rebates of up to $4,500 on purchases of electric vehicles and up to $500 for electric vehicle chargers through the Hawai’i Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Program.

In addition to the state EV rebates, federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 are also available for highway-capable vehicles (the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle credit, which applies to at least 200,000 units per auto manufacturer before it phases out). This allows for the potential of up to $12,500 in rebates and tax credits for an individual.

The EV Ready Program is funded by federal stimulus funds administered by DBEDT. 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.

Maui Electric Company is one of the first locations on the island to install an electric vehicle charging station. File photo by Wendy Osher.

A listing of publicly available EV charging stations in Hawai’i can be found on the Hawai’i Charging Station Database. This database is frequently updated as private and public organizations add charging stations across Hawai’i and as requests to post information are received. The database is available on DBEDT’s State Energy Office website at electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.

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