The grants, backed by matching funds, were awarded during the First Hawaiian Bank International Auto Show at the Hawaii Convention Center as follows:
* Better Place, $854,000, for charging stations on all islands and the introduction of EVs to a rental car fleet.
* AeroVironment, $820,000,to also install charging stations on all islands, conduct grid integration analysis, and accelerate EV introduction to dealerships and vehicle fleets.
* GreenCar Hawai‘i, $200,000, to introduce EVs to car-sharing services within the hospitality industry.
* Countyof Kauai, $267,000 for charging stations on the Garden Island and EVs for County fleets.
* City & County of Honolulu, $400,000, for charging stations on Oahu, EVs and an online charger permitting system.
* Plug In America, $50,000, for an EV Ready Guidebook for Hawaii, along with education and outreach.
“With the price of oil escalating because of unstable conditions in the Middle East, it’s even more important for all of us to find ways to cut our use of imported fuel,” said Estrella Seese, Acting Program Energy Administrator, State Energy Office. “Charging an electric vehicle costs much less than filling a tank with gasoline. Drivers will be saving on fuel costs, less fuel will be used for the same amount of mileage, and in the near future, electric cars will run on electricity produced from renewable resources such as the sun and wind.”
Data collection as well as public outreach and education about EVs are part of the contracts. These six organizations were selected from 19 applicants to DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program, established to speed up market acceptance of EVs, an important strategy in reaching Hawaii’s 70% clean energy goal.
DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program complements the EV Ready Rebate Program, which provides up to $4,500 for the purchase of full-speed, commercially available electric vehicles and up to $500 for EV charging equipment, including installation. The Rebate Program started in August 2010 and has a total budget of $1.4 million.
The EV Ready Grant and Rebate Programs are part of the Transportation Energy Diversification Project, which is supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds are directed for use in the Hawai‘iState Energy Program through the U.S. Department of Energy.