Hawai‘i accelerates past 10,000 electric vehicles

Car washes statewide join ‘clean transportation’ future by celebrating 10K milestone with $10 EV wash specials

HONOLULU — The number of registered electric vehicles (EVs) in Hawai‘i surpassed 10,000 last month, with more residents throughout the Islands choosing the cleaner, less fossil fuel-dependent, and increasingly more economical form of transportation.

To mark the “clean transportation” milestone, the Drive Electric Hawai‘i coalition is partnering with The Car Parlor in Honolulu to salute individuals who have made the choice to drive electric, offering free car washes for EVs all day on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

In addition, car washes across the state are joining in to recognize the environmental, economic and societal benefits of EVs by offering a month-long $10 car wash special to EV drivers from Oct. 10 to Nov. 10, 2019. To take advantage of the $10 car wash special, EV drivers must download a coupon from the Drive Electric Hawai‘i website (driveelectrichi.com), which they can then present at participating locations. (Offer is valid for vehicles equipped with a government-issued “Electric Vehicle” license plate.) Participating locations include:

  • The Car Parlor, 1111 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814; thecarparlor.com
  • McKinley Car Wash, 1139 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96815; www.mckinleycarwashhonolulu.com
  • Hilo Express Car Wash, 1089 Kilauea Ave., Hilo; www.lexbrodiescarwash.com
  • Kona Express Car Wash, 75-5570 Kuakini Hwy.; Kailua-Kona, www.lexbrodiescarwash.com
  • Wash It Hawai‘i, 1203 Keawe St., Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761; www.washithawaii.com

It’s no mistake that car washes are supportive of cleaner forms of transportation.

“One of the best ways to minimize the effect washing a car has on the environment is to use a commercial car wash, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Judy Kim-Sugita, owner and operator of The Car Parlor. “Many commercial car washes use less than half of what the average person uses to wash a vehicle at home, most locations reuse wash water several times.”

“The role EVs play in the future of ground transportation and our state’s ambitious energy goals is widely recognized,” said Greg Gaug, senior vice president of investments and analytics at Ulupono Initiative. “However, EVs still represent less than 1% of all passenger vehicles in the state. Increasing adoption will only accelerate and expand the benefits that EVs bring to our communities, including reducing our fossil fuel dependence and providing cleaner air for our keiki to enjoy.”

“Hawaiian Electric’s Electrification of Transportation (EoT) Strategic Roadmap details how the increased adoption of EVs will allow us to integrate even more renewables into our grid by encouraging EV charging during periods of the day when solar energy is abundant,” said Jimmy Yao, director, electrification of transportation, at Hawaiian Electric Company. “Our Electric Vehicle Critical Backbone Study will help to identify areas where public EV charging options can create a ‘critical backbone’ to support EV-driving commuters and tourists and help optimize operation of the electric grid.”

“EVs are a key part of breaking down barriers to transformative clean transportation options and policies that reduce the use of petroleum for getting around,” said Lauren Reichelt, who directs Blue Planet Foundation’s clean transportation programs and serves as the Clean Cities coordinator for the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawai‘i (STCH).

According to the Hawai‘i State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s “Monthly Energy Trend Highlights September 2019” report, the number of registered passenger EVs in the state was 10,003 as of Sept. 19, 2019, an increase of 2,205 vehicles (28.3%) from September last year. However, EVs still account for less than 1% (0.92%) of the 1,083,258 total registered passenger vehicles in the state.

As EVs become mainstream, vehicle costs are increasingly becoming comparable to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Car manufacturers have announced their commitments to going electric or expanding their electric lineup soon, including Audi, Ford, GM, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo. The cost of owning and maintaining an EV is also significantly lower than ICE cars. Though residing in a state with some of the highest electricity rates in the country, a Hawai‘i EV owner will save on average $507 per year by switching from gas to electricity for fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. In addition, increasing number and longevity of EVs means there are more opportunities for used EVs to return to the market. Like other secondhand cars, these vehicles are offered at a more affordable price, making EVs more accessible to a wider audience.

About Drive Electric Hawai‘i

Formed in 2016, Drive Electric Hawai‘i seeks to promote the use of electric vehicles, cut fossil-fuel-transportation and add more renewable energy through collaboration on education, promotion, advocacy, and infrastructure to make electric mobility easier for all. The coalition of public, private, and nonprofit organizations includes Blue Planet Foundation, the four island counties, Hawaiian Electric Companies, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Rocky Mountain Institute, Hawai‘i State Energy Office, Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation, State Division of Consumer Advocacy, and Ulupono Initiative. For more information, visit: driveelectrichi.com

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High-resolution photos and video available for download at:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wsguyof9gm2edvd/AAC0CUhbkySjEPVQ_WEk4CxVa?dl=0


  • EVs at The Car Parlor in Honolulu.


  • Time-lapse of EVs going through the colorful, environmentally friendly car wash at The Car Parlor.
  • Interior view of EV going through the colorful, environmentally friendly car wash at The Car Parlor.

Photos/videos courtesy of Blue Planet Foundation.

Media Contact:
Keith DeMello
Ulupono Initiative
Phone: (808) 544-8979
Mobile: (808) 542-5343