Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) today come in all shapes, types and sizes. From tax credits to free charging stations, it is now easier and more affordable for you to own and operate an EV.

In fact, our short commutes (on average around 25 miles or less), moderate temperatures with little seasonal variation and historically high gasoline prices make Hawaii an ideal environment for electric vehicles.

  • Use of HOV lanes in Hawaii.  
  • Savings on fuel costs 1
  • Less maintenance and lower vehicle maintenance costs 1
  • Federal tax credits (up to $7,500 depending on the capacity of the battery) 2
  • Charging access at public buildings and parking garages

1 Savings may vary based on fuel costs.

2 American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-240, §403; and 26 U.S. Code 30D.

How far you can drive an electric vehicle before needing to recharge depends on several factors including the type of EV you drive, your driving habits and climate conditions. Climate conditions determine the use of accessories (e.g., heating, air conditioning, defogging etc.), which can affect the range of your vehicle making Hawaii’s mild, year-round climate ideal for good EV performance.

A Battery Electric Vehicle may have a driving range from 100 to over 300 miles per charge depending on the age and type of EV model. For most electric car owners, a total recharge will not be necessary for daily driving (please refer to the specific EV manufacturer’s recommendation for how much to charge). However, there are many charging opportunities around the state – with more charging stations being installed – making it easier to ‘top-off’ your battery whenever you stop.

Find the nearest public charging station at Plugshare's website: click here.

Electricity is a more sustainable way to fuel a car, especially if you have rooftop solar powering your home. How much you can save will vary based on electric rates and the price of gasoline or diesel in Hawaii.

Below is an example of the approximate cost savings to operate a conventional vehicle compared to an EV charging at 240 volts during off-peak charging periods. You can find the official U.S. Department of Energy resource for vehicle cost comparisons by clicking here.

Please note the chart below is based on the following assumptions: EV battery capacity = 24 kWh; Electricity (kWh) per mile = .34 kWh/mile; Electricity cost = $0.36/kWh; 12,000 miles per year; Six (6) year term with a total mileage of 72,000 miles.

*These estimates are illustrative only. Actual gasoline and electricity prices are subject to market conditions.

Operating Cost Comparison Chart: Internal Combustion vs. Electric Vehicle in Hawaii*

For more information about electric vehicles, download the Department of Energy's latest consumer handbook: Click here.

Charging your EV is safe and is protected from bad weather and water. Safety features were built into EVs and charging stations to prevent electrical hazards. They are required to be safety tested, certified and listed by the Underwriter’s Laboratory. Electric vehicle servicing equipment must be installed by properly credentialed technicians and in compliance with appropriate building and electrical codes. Consult with your dealer or refer to your owner's manual for more information.

Are you considering taking the leap to buying an EV? If so, consider some of the questions below before you buy:

STEP 1. How much do you drive?

Evaluate your actual driving patterns to determine how much electric driving range you’ll need.

STEP 2. What are your recharging options?

Research your options to recharge your vehicle at home, work and in public locations. If you live in a multi-family unit, please check with your landlord, management company or condo/co-op board regarding rules to charge your EV.

STEP 3. How quickly do you want your EV to recharge?

There are two voltage options to recharge your EV at home: Level 1 at 120 volt and Level 2 at 240 volt.

The chart below shows a comparison based on the maximum power rating of 3.3 kW using a Nissan Leaf. Miles per charging time varies depending on driving conditions, vehicle and model year.