DBEDT EV READY GRANT PROGRAM AWARDS $2.6 MILLION TO ACCELERATE ELECTRIC VEHICLE ADOPTION IN HAWAII

Posted on Mar 18, 2011 in News Releases

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2011

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s State Energy Office announced the awarding of $2.6 million in federal stimulus funds to six organizations that will accelerate Hawaii’s adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and related charging equipment. The grants, provided through DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program, aim to contribute to the state’s energy goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030 by reducing consumption of imported petroleum fuels for ground transportation.

The grants, backed by matching funds, were awarded during the First Hawaiian Bank International Auto Show at the Hawaii Convention Center as follows:

• Better Place, $854,000, for charging stations on all islands and the introduction of EVs to a rental car fleet.
• AeroVironment, $820,000, to also install charging stations on all islands, conduct grid integration analysis, and accelerate EV introduction to dealerships and vehicle fleets.
• GreenCar Hawaii, $200,000, to introduce EVs to car-sharing services within the hospitality industry.
• County of Kauai, $267,000 for charging stations on the Garden Island and EVs for County fleets.
• City & County of Honolulu, $400,000, for charging stations on Oahu, EVs and an online charger permitting system.
• Plug In America, $50,000, for an EV Ready Guidebook for Hawaii, along with education and outreach.

“With the price of oil escalating because of unstable conditions in the Middle East, it’s even more important for all of us to find ways to cut our use of imported fuel,” said Estrella Seese, Acting Program Energy Administrator, State Energy Office. “Charging an electric vehicle costs much less than filling a tank with gasoline. Drivers will be saving on fuel costs, less fuel will be used for the same amount of mileage, and in the near future, electric cars will run on electricity produced from renewable resources such as the sun and wind.”

Data collection as well as public outreach and education about EVs are part of the contracts. These six organizations were selected from 19 applicants to DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program, established to speed up market acceptance of EVs, an important strategy in reaching Hawaii’s 70% clean energy goal.

DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program complements the EV Ready Rebate Program, which provides up to $4,500 for the purchase of full-speed, commercially available electric vehicles and up to $500 for EV charging equipment, including installation. The Rebate Program started in August 2010 and has a total budget of $1.4 million.

The EV Ready Grant and Rebate Programs are part of the Transportation Energy Diversification Project, which is supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds are directed for use in the Hawaii State Energy Program through the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more information, go to http://electricvehicle.hawaii.gov

###

For more information, contact:

Richard Lim
Director, DBEDT
Phone: (808) 586-2355

Lois Hamaguchi
Energy Analyst
Phone: (808) 587-9006