HONOLULU – Hawai‘i residents have four months to take advantage of up to $4,500 in rebates to buy down the cost of new electric vehicles. Rebates of up to $500 are available for the purchase and installation of a new electric vehicle charger in a home or business site. The rebates are offered by the Hawai‘i Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Program administered by the Energy Office of the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

A total of $1.4 million in Federal stimulus funds allocated to Hawai‘i for transportation energy transformation rebates are making the rebates possible for Hawai‘i residents.  Rebates of up to $4,500 are available for each new, highway-capable electric or plug in hybrid electric vehicle.  Rebates of up to $500 will be available for the purchase and installation of each new electric vehicle charger; and, if an electric vehicle purchase includes the installation of a charger, a combined rebate of up to $5,000 will be available.

“Accelerating the adoption of electric drive vehicles in Hawai‘i is an essential part of achieving our independence from imported oil and the exposure to that price volatility” said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator. “Electric vehicles are twice as fuel efficient as your average gasoline vehicle and can contribute to Hawaii’s overall clean energy goal.”

Rebates are on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to the availability of funds, and are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2011.  These State rebates are in addition to the federal tax incentives ($1,000 in federal tax credits for EV chargers) including the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles tax credit for highway-capable vehicles, for up to $7,500.  Note:  The total approved rebates to date are 36 electric vehicles and 38 chargers.

Rebate forms and grant applications are available on the State’s energy website, http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/energy.

DBEDT’s Hawaii Electric Vehicle EV Ready Program has also provided $2.6 million in grants to several private companies 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, and car-sharing services within the hospitality industry; and an online permitting system for chargers installed at single-family residences on Oahu.

Submitted by Estrella Seese and Lois Hamaguchi of the DBEDT’s State Energy Office

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