More perks in store for electric vehicle owners - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More perks in store for electric vehicle owners

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Electric vehicle owners already enjoy a host of benefits while both driving and parking.

They’re getting more.

Hawaiian Electric Co. announced Wednesday that it has installed two more fast chargers on Oahu, one in Kapolei Common and the other by the 7-11 in Hawaii Kai.

Meanwhile, at the state Capitol, lawmakers are proposing that one electric vehicle reserved spot be required for every 100 stalls.

These are all in addition to current perks, like being allowed to drive in the HOV lane even if there's only one person in the car, getting two and a half hours of free parking at meters, and free parking at the airport.

The overall number of electric vehicles in the state still pales in comparison to gas cars: 3,990 to just over 1 million registered as of December.

Still, the growth of electric vehicles can't be overlooked. The numbers of electric vehicles on the road has increased 26 percent from 2014, while gas car registrations went down almost 6 percent.

With that much growth, are the perks for electric vehicles still needed? Not everyone agrees.

Electric vehicle owners say the perks are needed to make the cars more attractive to budget-conscious buyers.

Others, though, say the perks don't make sense.

PearlRidge shopper Sharon Perreira said she doesn't understand why the vehicles get free parking.

"Everybody else is paying, and I don't think it should be different because you have an EV," she said.

Meanwhile, driver Joshua Young says HOV rules should apply to everyone the same.

"I think if there's only one person in the car, they should drive on the other side of the freeway, not the HOV lane," he said.

State Rep. Sylvia Luke, House Finance chairwoman, says perks for electric vehicles will have to be addressed in the near-term.

"It will be a good discussion starter," she said.

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