Electric vehicles get free parking at airports. Officials wonder: Is that fair?

Electric vehicles could be costing Hawaii millions in lost revenue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is losing out on millions of dollars each year in annual parking revenues because electric vehicles get to park at the airport for free.

And many travelers are complaining that the EVs are taking up much needed parking spaces at the airports, adding even more congestion in the parking structures.

“We’ve been here 30 minutes, more than 30 minutes. And the bad thing is all we see is electric cars," said Kaimuki resident Avi Maschkowski.

Electric cars represent less than 1 percent of all car on Hawaii’s roads. But at the Honolulu International Airport’s parking structures, they’re among the most popular vehicles because owners can leave their cars there free of charge for up to three months.

A Hawaii News Now examination today found that of the airport’s 4,500 parking stalls, 550 -- or about 12 percent -- were taken by EVs.

During our tour of the parking lot today, we saw a number of clusters of electric cars sometimes three to five in a row.

“The free parking at the airport does present a difficult situation because we only have a limited amount of parking available for the public," said Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara.

Many of the EVs are likely owned by airport workers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to park there.

A bill introduced this session would only allow four hours of free parking at airports but that bill, which was opposed by electric vehicle advocates, died this session.

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