Hawaii Leads US in Electric Car Purchases

Hawaii leads the nation in uptake of electric cars (EVs), because it’s gone full steam ahead on charging stations.

There’s now one charging station for every 5500 residents, reports The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. And with the infrastructure in place, residents are buying electric cars at 10 times the average rate for U.S. drivers.

Out of 35,531 vehicles sold last year in Hawaii, 422 are EVs, or 1.2%. On a national level, EV sales were 0.1% with 17,345 sold out of 12.8 million total of cars and light trucks.

The state is doing a lot to encourage people to own EVs. It offers a tax credit, allows single drivers to use HOV lanes, provides free parking at meters and in parking garages, and was the first state to prevent condominium associations from blocking home charger installations.

Utility Hawaiian Electric Co. has a pilot program that gives discounted electricity rates when they charge EVs at night. Wind farms produce the most energy at night – charging then better uses that power.

The state has high electricity prices, but it still costs about half that of filling up with gas for a standard car that gets 25 miles a gallon.

With its short driving distances, Hawaii is an ideal place for EVs and batteries perform better in warm weather.

Hawaii’s goal is to have 40,000 EVs on the road by 2020.

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