DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: ALTERNATIVE FUEL CORRIDOR STATUS WILL BOOST KAUA‘I’S EV EXPANSION EFFORTS
April 23, 2021 - Hawai‘i got some good Earth Day news Thursday when officials received word that the Federal Highway Administration approved the Kaua‘i Alternative Fuel Corridor, a move that will bring a host of benefits to the Garden Island including streamlined access to potential funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Kaua‘i’s designation means all six major islands in Hawai‘i now have alternative fuel corridors, solidifying the state’s commitment to transforming the national transportation outlook and setting a precedent on EV integration. The nomination of the Kaua‘i corridor was coordinated by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office in cooperation with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, the County of Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, the Ulupono Initiative, and the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawai‘i.
“Ground transportation accounts for nearly one-quarter of Hawai‘i’s energy emissions so efforts to expand the use of EVs are central to achieving the state’s commitment to a zero- emissions clean economy by 2045,” said Scott Glenn, Hawai‘i’s Chief Energy Officer “We were grateful to have such committed and supportive partners for this project that will help reduce petroleum consumption and emissions in the transportation sector,” Glenn added.
“Availability of EV charging infrastructure is crucial in encouraging EV adoption and decarbonization of transportation,” said Ed Sniffen Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways. “The approval of the Kauaʻi Alternative Fuel Corridor positions our State’s clean energy partners to improve the infrastructure support of sustainable energy.”
Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami welcomed the federal approval. “Electric vehicles coupled with increased opportunities for walking, biking and transit are at the heart of our county transportation policies.” Kawakami said. “We greatly appreciate the strong partnerships we have to realize these objectives. This federal EV corridor designation is key to moving ahead on needed EV infrastructure for our Island.”
In addition to paving the way for potential EV infrastructure funding, the alternative fuel corridor designation will:
- Help coordinate actions needed to effectively identify and deploy EV infrastructure across Kauai County.
- Highlight the importance of clean transportation roadways and charging locations.
- Facilitate increased coordination between state and local government agencies, Hawaii’s businesses, and social communities; and
- Incentivize vehicle dealers to increase EV availability and encourage rental car agencies to add vehicles to their fleet.