Hawaii's Electric Vehicle Rebates Off to Slow Start

Nanea Kalani/Civil Beat

The state still has nearly $1.3 million to dole out in rebates for electric cars. And it has just four months to do so.

The rebate program Hawaii launched last August for the purchase of new electric vehicles is set to end in September. It can knock up to $4,500 off the price of a new electric car, and can be combined with a federal tax credit. As of this month, the state still had $1.28 million in funds remaining.

State officials say the slow start is tied to the limited supply of electric vehicles in Hawaii. But they are hopeful more rebates will be issued as more electric cars come to market in the islands.

And while it's a possibility the rebate program will be extended, a decision hasn't been made, said Maria Tome, renewable energy program manager at the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees the rebate program.

If the rebate program ends with a surplus of funds, Tome said the money could be diverted toward other renewable energy programs at DBEDT, including, for example, installing photovoltaic systems on state buildings.

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