State commits to promoting electric vehicle adoption

Posted on Jul 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
New laws promote vehicle use by state agencies and financing of more charging systems to combat climate change.

New laws promote vehicle use by state agencies and financing of more charging systems to combat climate change. (Photo provided by: Blue Planet Foundation)

The multiple benefits of electrifying vehicles in Hawai‘i took center stage with the recent signing of three bills by Governor Ige. The bills promote electric vehicle adoption and reinforce the state’s role as a leader in reducing the impacts of climate change. Legislators, state officials and other clean energy advocates joined in celebrating the progress being made. “We were the first state to commit to 100% clean energy by 2045, and we were the first state to commit by statute to the Paris climate agreement. Yet there is still work to be done,” said the governor. “Ground transportation in Hawai‘i accounts for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and is a large contributor to our dependence on imported oil. Coupled with our renewable energy goals, electric vehicles can support our transition away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”

State officials, community partners and c lean energy advocates gathered on the steps of Central Middle School to celebrate the new laws.

State officials, community partners and c lean energy advocates gathered on the steps of Central Middle School to celebrate the new laws. (Photo provided by: Blue Planet Foundation)

The three bills include: HB 424 – Requires all state agencies to “adopt a preference for renting electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles” (for state employees). HB552 – Establishes clean ground transportation goals for state agencies to transition 100% of light-duty motor vehicles to a zero-emission fleet by December 31,2035. HB1142 – Allocates a portion of barrel tax revenue and establishes dedicated funds to support and finance electric vehicle charging systems. “The transition to clean transportation reduces our contribution to emissions that cause climate change, saves taxpayer dollars and reduces reliance on imported fuels, which leaves more dollars circulating in our local economy,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen. Sen. Sharon Moriwaki added, “This is a momentous day for clean energy. These bills are significant because they send the message that Hawai‘i is serious about clean energy.”

Read more in the August Capitol Connection newsletter.

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