Hawaiian Electric said it will make its fleet of passenger cars, SUVs, light pickups, and minivans to be plug-in electric by 2035, joining the growing number of electric vehicles on Hawaii roads, which is currently at 12,000, according to the utility.
Hawaiian Electric’s pledge is part of a nationwide collaborative commitment to electrification of transportation by many member companies of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a national organization of investor-owned utilities, said Hawaiian Electric.
Hawaiian Electric’s fleet currently includes about 925 vehicles across five islands. Nearly 400, roughly 40%, are sedans, SUVs, small vans and light trucks. Of these about one fourth are already electric vehicles. Heavy-duty pickups and larger vans are 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,” said Aki Marceau, Hawaiian Electric electrification of transportation director. “We’re committing to purchasing electric vehicles and installing the needed chargers. We also want to encourage and help others to electrify fleets and provide workplace charging for employees and customers.”
In line with Hawaiian Electric’s moves to lower costs, the overall utility fleet will be reduced as possible while conventional and aging electric vehicles will be replaced with more cost-effective electric vehicles.
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 electric vehicles.
In Hawaii, transportation uses nearly two-thirds of imported petroleum and discharges over half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In December 2017, the four counties also committed to 100% public and private renewable-fueled ground transportation by 2045.
In July 2020, Hawaii joined 15 states and the District of Columbia 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.