Update: January 2021
HSEO continues to develop clean transportation programs under the Volkswagen Settlement Trust. Here are a few updates regarding projects.
Expanded Vehicle Assistance Program Opening Soon
HSEO is currently developing the revamped Vehicle Assistance Program (VAP), formerly known as the Electric Bus Assistance Program. The VAP will offer financial assistance to private and/or public vehicle owners looking to replace their medium/heavy duty vehicle or engine with a clean fuel alternative. HSEO plans to initially focus the VAP on rebates for medium and heavy duty buses and trucks, while recognizing that the program may need to evolve in response to market demand and economic conditions including disruptions such as COVID-19.
The VAP is expected to open for applications in mid-2021. For up to date announcements, please sign up for the VW Settlement mailing list. Due to the global pandemic, many medium and heavy duty electric vehicle manufacturers have experienced supply chain delays and battery delivery delays with Hawaii likely to experience even longer delays in vehicle shipments because of our remote location. The program is now opening later than originally anticipated and intends to run from year to year in order to meet evolving community needs and to allow local fleet owners ample time to order and receive the equipment electric bus deliveries.
City and County of Honolulu Electric Transit Bus Solicitation NOW OPEN
As part of Hawaii’s first D-4 Funding Request approved by the Volkswagen Trustee and in partnership with the State Department of Health Clean Air Branch, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services opened Solicitation No. RFP-DTS-1295305 for two heavy duty low floor battery electric buses to be used for city transit services. The two battery electric transit buses will replace two older diesel buses in the city’s fleet and be used to operate the “Downtown Health Circular”, a new route dedicated to a loop of downtown medical facilities, providing service to an area that could benefit roughly 20,000 residents and is estimated to reduce 0.997 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually. Deadline for bids is scheduled for June 8th, 2020. If you have any questions regarding the solicitation please contact [email protected] or 808-768-5535.
HSEO will administer the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds and execute eligible environmental mitigation projects to reduce vehicle emissions in Hawaii.
Within these pages, you will find:
- Environmental Mitigation Trust Details
- Hawaii’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and Funding Requests
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Additional Resources
- VW Settlement Mailing List
The “Volkswagen (VW) Settlement” is a series of legal settlements between various United States agencies, the State of California, and six VW-related entities – including VW, Audi, and Porsche – to resolve multiple criminal and civil enforcement cases against VW stemming from violations to the Clean Air Act (CAA) and efforts to conceal these violations. VW was charged with selling approximately 590,000 model year 2009 to 2016 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter diesel motor vehicles equipped with computer “defeat devices” which falsified emissions testing results and enabled these vehicles to emit air pollution significantly in excess of CAA limits. A primary emission of concern produced by the non-compliant vehicles, nitrogen oxides (NOx), is a significant health concern that contributes to the formation of smog and is linked to numerous respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects. For more information, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement website and the U.S. District Court’s Volkswagen Case website.
Environmental Mitigation Trust
Under the settlements, VW agreed to establish a $2.925 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust (Trust) for its beneficiaries to pursue alternative transportation projects intended to fully mitigate the total excess NOx emitted by the non-compliant VW vehicles. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and federally recognized Indian tribes are eligible to become beneficiaries of the Trust and will be responsible for administering their respective Trust allocations, which are based upon the number of non-compliant vehicles sold in that jurisdiction. As an eligible beneficiary, the State of Hawaii has been allocated $8.125 million from the Trust based on the number of non-compliant VW vehicles sold in Hawaii.
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment
In addition to the Trust, VW will pay billions in penalties and customer vehicle buyback and modification programs. VW is required to invest $2 billion over the next 10 years in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure and education projects across the United States through its Electrify America (ZEV Investment) initiative. VW will consider submitted proposals and determine its ZEV Investment projects with oversight from the U.S. EPA which could possibly include Hawaii.
If you would like to be added to the HSEO VW Settlement mailing list please submit your contact information here energy.hawaii.gov/vw-settlement-mailing-list.
For comments or questions about the Volkswagen Settlement, please contact the Hawaii State Energy Office at [email protected]