Frequently Asked Questions
EVs offer many advantages. Federal tax credits up to $7,500; less money spent on your total household energy budget; and lower maintenance make them cheaper to own or lease. The cost per mile to drive a typical EV is lower than driving a typical gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle. EVs are quick and fun to drive. They provide environmental benefits such as reduced emissions and noise. EVs can park for free in state and municipal lots and at metered parking stalls. EVs can also use high occupancy vehicle lanes with just the driver on board.
Currently, up to $7,500 in federal tax credit is allowed for the purchase of a qualifying EV. Vehicles with an electric vehicle license plate have certain exemptions for state and county parking as well as HOV lanes. For more details on federal & state incentives, please visit the U.S. Department of Energy web site at afdc.energy.gov/laws or call (877) 337-3463 or visit the Energy Division of the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism web site. Consult your personal financial advisor or tax preparer if you have questions.
Please check the manufacturer's website or contact the local dealer for details about the EV you are interested in for vehicle pricing, batteries, charging specifications, safety, special programs, and other details. There are also links to EV manufacturers in our "Resources" page.
If you are thinking of purchasing an EV, start by understanding the difference between a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to find the one that fits your lifestyle. Things to consider are the distance of your commute and how you will charge the vehicle.
Several charging options are available. In some cases, a simple 120-volt plug-and-cord set using a standard outlet may be all you require. In other cases, you may want to purchase a faster Level 2 charger. Your EV dealer or manufacturer can help you make this decision. If you chose to install a Level 2 charging station, consult a licensed electrical contractor. As with all electrical upgrades, your county building department must approve plans and sign off when the installation is complete. More information on these topics is on our "Electric Vehicle Basics" page.
The WattPlan for Electric Vehicles may help you better compare different electric vehicles with a conventional gas car.
For residential service, Hawaiian Electric can only provide necessary service on the utility side of the meter. Please consult a licensed electrician for additional electrical work.
Under a pilot project, Hawaiian Electric has installed public DC fast charging stations at sites which may best assist EV drivers and the commercial site. Interested commercial customers should contact the GoEV program at GoEV@hawaiianelectric.com or at one of the following:
Any business can provide charging to customers or employees for a fee or as a service. If your business wishes to do so, please consult a licensed electrical contractor or contact the GoEV program at GoEV@hawaiianelectric.com or at one of the following:
Yes, enrolling on a TOU rate does not change your NEM status. Any excess power you send from your renewable energy installation (like solar panels) will be credited to your account at the same rate you would pay if you took power from the grid at that time. Customers providing excess power under during the mid-day TOU-RI will be credited at the lower Mid-Day rate.
If you enroll in TOU-RI for the household (Whole-House TOU-RI), Hawaiian Electric will replace your existing meter with a time-of-use meter at NO charge. An additional monthly fee of $1.50 for residential customers will be applied to your bill to cover additional operating costs associated with time-of-use rate.
Under TOU-RI, there is no additional fee for residential customers adding a second meter for EV charging only (Separately-Metered TOU-RI). Customers without a utility bill (such as tenants of a master metered condominium) may install a new metered service for EV charging only at their place of residence. These customers will be subject to a $9 monthly customer charge for this new account. Customers pay for all electric upgrades (if needed), and Hawaiian Electric will install a new time-of-use meter at NO charge.
Currently, only customers requesting for separately metered EV service under TOU-RI need to be qualified. The account holder must provide proof of ownership of an eligible EV, having a battery with a capacity that is four kilowatt-hours or larger, and are qualified to drive on public streets, roads and highways. The new meter will not be installed until all required permits are approved.
Hybrids that do not plug-in to recharge their batteries do not qualify. Neither do "neighborhood EVs" (NEVs) and medium-speed electric vehicles (MSEVs) which the U.S. Department of Transportation classify as low-speed vehicles, not exceeding speeds of 35 miles per hour.