For a limited time, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative and Hawaiian Electric Co. are offering an EV rebate of up to $10,000 to customers who purchase a Nissan LEAF electric car. The offers run through March of this year. The EV rebate is in addition to the federal income tax credit of $7,500. Combined, they make buying a Nissan LEAF a virtual no brainer.
You may not know this, but Hawai’i is composed of a number of islands — islands that have absolutely no natural resources other than surf and pineapples. Importing fossil fuels to those islands costs a lot of money. Hawaiian Electric senior vice president Shelee Kimura said the utility’s offer is an example of its Drive Electric Hawaii effort, which in turn is part of the state’s 100% renewables goal. The rebate can help customers “save money, reduce tailgate emissions and help break our state’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Kimura. Hawai’i has recently made a commitment to switch to 100% renewable power by the year 2045.
We hate to quibble with an industry official, but we think Kimura meant to say “tailpipe emissions” rather than “tailgate emissions.” But let’s not allow such negative thoughts to throw a shadow on this discussion. .
The Nissan LEAF, which now comes with 107 mile of range, is ideal for daily driving chores in the sun splashed Hawaiian Islands. A person living on Kaua’i could drive from one end to the other of the island about 7 times and still have enough range left to pop over to the fish market in Poipu to pick up some mahi mahi for dinner.
Hawaii is the ideal location for an electric car powered by sunshine. Because of the cost of fossil fuels, electricity there is quite expensive, but that just makes residential solar systems more economically viable. A local resident could easily power an electric car entirely on clean, renewable power from an array of residential solar panels. Eventually, car to grid systems could connect the batteries in electric cars to the local utility grid to help balance the load and make more electrical energy available during peak use hours.
Source: Utility Dive