On Thursday, June 24, 2021 Governor David Ige signed into law:
HB552 HD1 SD2 CD1 establishes a goal for state agencies to transition 100% of light-duty motor vehicles in their fleets to zero-emissions vehicles by December 31, 2035. The bill also establishes procurement preferences to encourage cleaner medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
HB424 HD1 SD1 CD1 requires all state agencies, when renting a vehicle conducting official government business, to adopt a preference for renting electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles provided the vehicle is suitable for the specific travel requirements and available when needed.
HB1142 HD2 SD2 CD1 allocates monies from the state's barrel tax to fund the rebate program for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. This rebate program was created by the legislature in 2019 and has been successful in incentivizing the installation of more publicly accessible EV chargers in the state.
Statement by Chair Nicole Lowen on Governor's Bill Signing of HB552 and HB1142
"Even with all the progress that has been made in the last decade, Hawaiʻi is still heavily reliant on imported oil, a majority of which is used in the transportation sector. With the signing of HB 552 into law, the state is demonstrating its commitment to decarbonizing state fleets and leading the way for the private sector to do the same. This measure will also save taxpayer dollars because EVs are now cheaper to own and operate than gas-powered vehicles."
"The lack of an adequate network of places to charge an EV remains a barrier to more widespread adoption of EVs in the state. By providing ongoing and substantial funding to incentivize the build-out of EV charging infrastructure, we are making EVs a viable option for more people—especially for renters, condo-dwellers, and lower- and middle-income families."
"The transition to clean transportation has multiple benefits for the people of Hawaiʻi. It reduces our contribution to emission that cause climate change, reduces local pollution, saves taxpayer dollars, and reduces reliance on imported fuels, which leaves more dollars circulating in our local economy."
Statement by Vice Chair Tina Wildberger on Governor's Bill Signing of HB424
"I am thrilled to see HB424 make it through the entire legislative process this year. Everything we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be everyone’s goal.This measure will help encourage the rental car companies to invest in electric vehicles and know there is market share that will rent them. State employees rent a lot of vehicles on state business. This will help us pivot to an electrified transportation system in Hawaiʻi."
**Photo courtesy Office of the Governor