Hawai‘i Energy and Ulupono Offer Incentive for Electric Car Charging Stations

February 1, 2019, 6:36 PM HST · Updated February 1, 6:36 PM
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Hawai‘i Energy and the Ulupono Initiative are partnering to offer a limited-time rebate for installing or upgrading electric vehicle charging stations at workplaces and apartment buildings. The rebate is meant to encourage Hawai‘i’s businesses and their employees to help the state reach its clean transportation goals.

According to the organizations, there is an increasing demand for daytime charging options for more than 8,300 registered EVs across the islands. Eligible workplaces or multi-unit residential buildings in Honolulu, Maui, and Hawai‘i counties can receive rebates of $5,000 each for each new installation. These eligible locations can also receive $1,500 for upgrading from single to dual port level 2 EV charging stations with network connectivity.

The stations must be designated for the buildingʻs business employees, tenants, and/or authorized guests. These stations cannot be used for fleet charging, general public parking, or private individually owned parking spots. Rebates must be claimed by June 30 or while funding lasts.

“As our Hawai‘i Energy programs continue to evolve to meet our state’s clean energy and carbon neutral goals, we are pleased to offer this exciting rebate to help businesses and their employees to be able to charge their EVs at work rather than just at home or at retail outlets,” executive director of Hawai‘i Energy Brian Kealoha said. “When paired with energy efficiency, businesses can mitigate any increased energy usage from the EV chargers and avoid costly electrical infrastructure upgrades. We encourage all interested commercial building owners, managers and even tenants to contact us and see whether they’re eligible to participate.”

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According to the US Department of Energy, level 2 charging adds about 10 to 20 miles of range to a plug-in EV per hour of charging time. Charging stations could also add value to the residences and attract environmentally conscious buyers, according to the organizations.

“Despite the high appeal and positive benefits of EVs, such as saving drivers money and no emissions, many drivers still have concerns about how and where to charge their vehicles,” vice president of investments for Ulupono Initiative Greg Gaug said. “Through this rebate, we are helping to address frustrations about the lack of sufficient charging stations overall and specifically at the workplace and multi-unit dwellings, such as condos and apartments. By having more charging options available in more places, we’re hoping to make it easier for people to choose an EV as their next vehicle.”

All applicants must at least:

  • Be a commercial customer of the Hawaiian Electric family of utilities (HECO, HELCO, and MECO) and the owner and/or landlord of a workplace or multi-unit dwelling in the City and County of Honolulu, Hawai‘i County, or Maui County;
  • Have the legal authority to install a charging station in the designated parking area; and
  • Purchase and install the charging station by June 30, 2019.

A survey of the EV public infrastructure in 2017 showed that, while Hawai‘i is considered a leader in the nation, there are not enough EV chargers for the amount of EV drivers. The current law that requires at least one EV charger at public lots with 100 or more parking stalls has helped push locations to install EV charging stations.

According to the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, the number of passenger EVs in the State of Hawai‘i increased 25% in December 2018 from December of the previous year.

More information on this rebate program, including additional eligibility requirements, is available online.

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