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Hawaii to convert light-duty vehicles to electric by 2035

Electric vehicles
Electric vehicles(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: May. 10, 2021 at 7:07 AM HST
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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii must convert all state-owned light-duty vehicles to fully electric by 2035 under newly passed legislation, state lawmakers said.

Democratic state Rep. Nicole Lowen authored the bill, saying it was one of her legislative priorities this year, Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday.

The bill, passed this year, requires the state to transition its entire light-duty vehicle fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by the end of 2035, with passenger cars transitioning by 2030.

There are about 3,200 vehicles in the state’s light-duty vehicle fleet, according to the state’s energy office. About 300 are active on the Big Island.

“It actually saves the state money in maintenance costs,” Lowen said. “And with more electric vehicles on the road, it gets more people to realize they’re not much different from other cars, and might convince more people to adopt them. And, of course, it incentivizes building more electric infrastructure.”

State agencies will operate under a procurement policy under the bill to prioritize zero-emissions or hybrid vehicles when purchasing new vehicles, although some vehicles will be exempt, Lowen said.

The bill corresponds with other legislation that allocates 3 cents of the barrel tax — the tax imposed on each barrel of oil imported into the state — to fund the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. Both bills are intended to help the state transition entirely to renewable energy by 2045.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.