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