Shared from Hawaii EV. There are at least 3 bills being heard in the legislature this week, including 2 that we deem are high priority. Please take a moment to submit testimony. 

1. PRIORITY BILL – SB2570 SD1

This adds the installation and upgrade of hydrogen refueling stations to the Zero-Emission Vehicle Fueling System Rebate Program.

This is being heard by Way and Means on Wednesday, 23FEB @10AM. The deadline for testimony is Tuesday 23FEB @10AM.

Position: Oppose – This measure will result in the cannibalization of the Hawaii Energy EV Charger Rebate program and dampen the expansion of public EV charging.

Text of SB2570 SD1

Background: Hawaii’s EV adoption is accelerating. We now have over 18,000 EVs in the state, and we’re seeing growing demand for public charging. While many EV owners have the luxury of home charging, many Hawaii residents don’t and will rely on public charging to maintain their EVs. Additionally, residents with home chargers and long commutes will need adequate public charging.

The EV charger rebate program was designed to build out public EV charging infrastructure. It has an annual rebate cap of $500,000. (The measure proposes that this be lifted to $700,000, a positive thing, if not for the inclusion of hydrogen fueling stations.)

Hawaii EV and KauaiEV do not support hydrogen fuel cell EVs for ground transportation for the reasons explained in this Op-Ed and a couple of blog posts.

To summarize, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are notoriously inefficient when considering the energy losses associated with hydrogen production, storage, and transport, as well as the conversion back to electricity. Proper hydrogen is that which is created using electrolysis, an energy-intensive process.

Importantly, hydrogen fueling stations can cost up to $2M, and the proposed rebate for a qualified station is $200,000. On the other hand, Level 2 and DC Fast Charger rebates are up to $4,500 and $35,000, respectively.

Note: During the hearing of a related bill, HB1396, it was suggested that a separate fund be established for hydrogen fueling stations. HB1396 is deferred.

Hawaii Energy EV Charging Station Rebate program details are here.

2. PRIORITY BILL – SB3158

This establishes a purchase rebate program for the purchase of electric vehicles, including cars, bicycles, and mopeds, with priority given to low income households. Allocates a portion of the barrel tax to the rebate program. 

This is being heard by Way and Means on Thursday, 24FEB @10AM. The deadline for testimony is Wednesday, 23FEB @10AM.

Position: Support – This will serve to further accelerate our transition to clean transportation. The focus on low-income individuals will help to make the transition more equitable.

Text of SB3158 SD1

3. SB3311 SD1

Establishes the ground transportation and interisland transportation working groups. Requires the Department of Transportation to prepare for and incentivize the increased adoption of electric vehicles in the State.This is being heard by Way and Means on Thursday, 24FEB @10AM. The deadline for testimony is Wednesday, 23FEB @10AM.Position: Support – The intention of this measure is consistent with efforts to accelerate the decarbonization of our transportation sector. We recommend the following:Include as part of the stakeholders group, organizations or individuals who represent EV owners.Maintain or make more aggressive the goal statements (2045 is too far out, given our global warming situation).

Text of SB3311 SD1

Helpful InformationYou can view the complete list of EV-related bills here. For tips on submitting testimony and a list of talking points, visit our EV Legislation page

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