Governor Neil Abercrombie today unveiled the first electric vehicle charger at the State Capitol, located in the building’s underground parking garage. The charging station, which accepts major credit cards and requires no membership, is available to all electric vehicle owners and is the first of many charging stations to be installed across the state as part of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s (DBEDT) EV Ready Program.
At the State Capitol, it will cost EV drivers $2 an hour to charge, with a maximum of four hours. Charging times vary depending on the range of the car, but generally an hour of charging provides about 15 miles of range.
“Our vision for the future is that it becomes more common and accessible for people to drive electric vehicles,” Governor Abercrombie said. “The first public charging station for electric vehicles is a step toward a clean energy future, and every single step is important.”
Through this program, the state is supporting the transformation of Hawaii’s transportation sector to be less dependent on petroleum and becoming electric vehicle friendly by installing approximately five charging stations at State owned buildings downtown and adding a small fleet of electric vehicles to the State motor pool. In June, the State received its first electric vehicles, two Nissan all-electric Leafs. The Hawaii State Energy Office and state motor pool currently have the vehicles.
Honolulu-based Volta Industries installed the Eaton Corporation charger equipped with a credit-card-swipe system, at the State Capitol. The charger is a Level 2, 240-volt station, using the industry-standard J1772 connector, which is compatible with all new electric cars currently in production. The cost of the charger unit and installation was approximately $8,000.
In 2009, $4 million of the State Energy Program’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding was allocated to the Transportation Energy Diversification EV Ready Program. DBEDT provided $475,500 of federal ARRA stimulus funds to the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) Automotive Management Division to assist Hawaii State governments comply with statutory requirements for electric vehicle parking and to lead by example through the purchase of advanced technology vehicles such as electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicle supply equipment (EV charging stations).
“Hawaii is charging ahead and making charging stations more accessible to people choosing to drive electric vehicles. We are committed to a smaller carbon footprint, 70 percent clean energy by 2030 and opportunities help protect our environment,” said Bruce Coppa, Director, State Department of Accounting and General Services.
The Capitol station, located in the State Capitol underground parking garage, is accessible via Miller Street off of Punchbowl Street, is open to the public during operating hours; 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday; 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays; closed on Sundays.
“Hawaii drivers now have a convenient charging facility downtown. Thanks to our success in securing federal funding, this is the first of an entire network of charging stations we plan to install throughout the state, as we build an infrastructure that will maintain Hawaii’s leadership in electric vehicles and entice more manufacturers to Hawaii,” said Richard Lim, Director, State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program has awarded $2.6 million in federal stimulus funds to six organizations to accelerate Hawaii’s adoption of electric vehicles and related charging equipment. Another $1.4 million in federal stimulus money was allocated to the EV Ready Rebate Program, which allows rebates of up to $4,500 toward the purchase of new electric vehicles. Rebates of up to $500 are also available for the purchase and installation of new electric vehicle chargers in homes or business sites. Rebate forms are available on DBEDT’s Energy office electric vehicle website, electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.
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) and up to $1,000 for individual buyers and up to $30,000 for businesses installing EV charger stations.
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 Hawaii’s economy.
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