This week Hawaiian Electric pledged that every passenger car, SUV, light pickup and minivan in the company’s fleet will be a plug-in electric, joining the additional 12,000 of electric vehicles (EVs) on Hawai‘i roads, today.
This pledge is part of a nationwide commitment to the electrification of transportation by member companies of the Edison Electric Institute.
Currently, Hawaiian Electric’s fleet includes 925 vehicles across five islands. Nearly 400, roughly 40%, are sedans, SUVs, small vans and light trucks, and a fourth are EVs. Heavy-duty pickups and larger vans are 30% of the fleet. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up the remaining 30%.
In addition, the overall utility fleet will be reduced, while conventional and aging EVs will be replaced with more cost-effective EVs.
EVs offer maintenance and fuel savings over their lifetime and the saving can often offset any additional costs at the time of purchase. For example, an electric SUV available today costs 25% less to own and operate. Purchase options are also increasing and prices for EVs are dropping.
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In 2014, EEI asked members to spend at least 5% of their annual fleet purchasing budget on plug-in vehicles. Hawaiian Electric joined nearly 60% of EEI member companies committed to the challenge, resulting in a significant increase of EVs.
In Hawai’i, transportation uses two-thirds of imported petroleum and discharges over half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. EVs reduce fossil fuel use and emissions and will help add more renewable energy resources to support the state’s goal to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045.
In July 2020, Hawai‘i joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in a pledge to expand the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The goal is to ensure that 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales are zero-emission vehicles by 2050. The interim target is 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.
“We recognize our responsibility to lead our state’s eMobility movement by example,” said Aki Marceau, Hawaiian Electric electrification of transportation director. “We’re committing to purchasing electric vehicles and installing the needed chargers.”