Hawaiian Electric says that by 2035, every passenger car, SUV, light pickup and minivan in its fleet will be a plug-in electric, joining the growing number – today over 12,000 – of electric vehicles (EVs) on Hawaii roads.
Hawaiian Electric’s pledge is part of a nationwide collaborative commitment to the electrification of transportation by many member companies of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a national organization of investor-owned utilities.
Today, Hawaiian Electric’s fleet includes about 925 vehicles across five islands. Nearly 400 – roughly 40% – are sedans, SUVs, small vans and light trucks. Of these about a fourth are already EVs, leading the state in electric fleets. Heavy-duty pickups and larger vans make up 30% of the fleet. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including bucket trucks, make up the remaining 30%.
“We recognize our responsibility to lead our state’s eMobility movement by example,” says Aki Marceau, director of the electrification of transportation at Hawaiian Electric.
“We’re committing to purchasing EVs and installing the needed chargers. We also want to encourage and help others to electrify fleets and provide workplace charging for employees and customers,” he adds.
EVs offer maintenance and fuel savings over the lifetime of the vehicles. These savings offset any additional costs at the time of purchase. For example, an electric SUV available today costs 25% less to own and operate compared to a gas SUV, truck or van over a 10-year lifecycle. Additionally, purchase options are increasing and prices for some EVs are dropping.
In 2014, EEI asked members to spend at least 5% of their annual fleet purchasing budget on plug-in vehicles. Hawaiian Electric joined nearly 60% of EEI member companies committed to the challenge, which has resulted in a significant increase of EVs.
In Hawaii, transportation uses nearly two-thirds of imported petroleum and discharges over half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, making electric transportation increasingly important to reaching a sustainable clean energy future. EVs reduce fossil fuel use and emissions and will help add more renewable energy resources to support the state’s goal to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045.
In July, Hawaii joined 15 states and Washingtong, D.C., in a pledge to expand the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The goal is to ensure that 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales are zero-emission vehicles by 2050. The interim target is 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.
Photo: Hawaiian Electric’s landing page