Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) today come in all shapes, types and sizes. From tax credits to reserved parking to free charging stations, it is now easier and more affordable for you to own and operate an EV.

In fact, our short commutes (on average around 25 miles or less), moderate temperatures with little seasonal variation and historically high gasoline prices make Hawaii an ideal environment for electric vehicles.


  • Free parking at various airports and at State and County Government lots, facilities and parking meters 1
  • Savings on fuel costs 2
  • Less maintenance and lower vehicle maintenance costs
  • Federal tax credits (up to $7,500 depending on the capacity of the battery) 3
  • Charging access at public buildings and parking garages 1


1 HRS§291-71
2 Savings may vary based on fuel costs.
3 American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-240, §403; and 26 U.S. Code 30D.



Reference within this site to any specific automobile by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute any express or implicit endorsement or warranty from Hawaii Energy.



How far you can drive an electric vehicle before needing to recharge depends on several factors including the type of EV you drive, your driving habits and climate conditions. Climate conditions determine the use of accessories (e.g., heating, air conditioning, defogging etc.), which can affect the range of your vehicle making Hawaii’s mild, year-round climate ideal for good EV performance.

A Battery Electric Vehicle may have a driving range of 60 to 100 miles but other types of EVs can have a range of 300 miles due to incorporated gasoline power. For most electric car owners, a total recharge will not be necessary for daily driving. However, there are many charging opportunities around the state – with more charging stations being installed – making it easy to ‘top-off’ your battery whenever you stop.

Find the nearest public charging station at the official Hawaii State website: https://portal.ehawaii.gov/residents/transportation-and-vehicles/ev-charging-stations



Electricity is a very affordable way to fuel a car. How much you can save will vary based on electric rates and the price of gasoline or diesel in Hawaii.

Below is an example of the approximate cost savings to operate a conventional vehicle compared to an EV charging at 240 volts during off-peak charging periods. You can find the official U.S. Department of Energy resource for vehicle cost comparisons at www.afdc.energy.gov/calc.

Please note the chart below is based on the following assumptions: EV battery capacity = 24 kWh; Electricity (kWh) per mile = .34 kWh/mile; Electricity cost = $0.36/kWh; 12,000 miles per year; Six (6) year term with a total mileage of 72,000 miles.

*These estimates are illustrative only. Actual gasoline and electricity prices are subject to market conditions.

Operating Cost Comparison Chart: Internal Combustion vs. Electric Vehicle in Hawaii*

EV Comparison Chart

Adapted from Plug In America. Hawaii EV Ready, Guidebook for Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installations. Page 8. Retrieved 11/15/2014. www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/toolbox/pdfs/hawaii_ev_guidebook.pdf


Charging your EV is safe and is protected from bad weather and water. Safety features were built into EVs and charging stations to prevent electrical hazards. They are required to be safety tested, certified and listed by the Underwriter’s Laboratory. Electric vehicle servicing equipment must be installed by properly credentialed technicians and in compliance with appropriate building and electrical codes. Consult with your dealer or refer to your owner's manual for more information.


Are you considering taking the leap to buying an EV? If so, consider some of the questions below before you buy:

STEP 1.How much do you drive?

  • Evaluate your actual driving patterns to determine how much electric driving range you’ll need.

STEP 2.What are your recharging options?

  • Research your options to recharge your vehicle at home, work and in public locations. If you live in a multi-family unit, please check with your landlord, management company or condo/co-op board regarding rules to charge your EV.

STEP 3: How quickly do you want your EV to recharge?

There are two voltage options to recharge your EV at home:

  • Standard 120-volt outlet
  • 240-volt outlet

The 240-volt outlet can also be found in commercial settings along with the DC Fast Charging option, which ranges from 200-600 volts. You’ll need to determine how quickly you’ll need and want to recharge your vehicle, as well as which charging option will best suit your situation.

Don’t know what’s right for you? Talk to your automaker, dealer or utility. They can help you decide which charging option would be best for you.

Types of Charging Equipment (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, EVSE)

Level 1 - AC

Level 2 - AC

DC Fast Charging

Slow charging

Medium charging

Rapid charging

120 V

208/240 V


1 hour charging = up to 4.5 miles (approximate)

1 hour charging = 12 miles* (approximate)

10 minutes = up to 40 miles (approximate)

SAE J1772™ Connector

SAE J1772™ Connector

CHAdeMO™ , SAE Combo Connector

*Maximum power rating of 3.3 kW based on a Nissan Leaf. Miles per charging time varies depending on driving conditions, vehicle and model year.

Visit www.pluginamerica.org/drivers-seat/understanding-electric-vehicle-charging for more information on EV charging.

Don’t forget to use a licensed electrician for any electrical work involving your EV charging system!



Other organizations and entities with more information on electric vehicles includes: