08/04/2020

Hawaiian Electric pledges an all-electric passenger fleet by 2035

This text was originally published by Hawaiian Electric on August 4, 2020.

By 2035, every passenger car, SUV, light pickup and minivan in Hawaiian Electric’s fleet will be a plug-in electric, joining the growing number – today over 12,000 – of electric vehicles on Hawaii roads.

Hawaiian Electric’s pledge is part of a nationwide collaborative commitment to electrification of transportation by many member companies of the Edison Electric Institute, a national organization of investor-owned utilities.

Today, Hawaiian Electric’s fleet includes about 925 vehicles across five islands. Nearly 400, roughly 40 percent, are sedans, SUVs, small vans and light trucks. Of these about a fourth are already electric vehicles, leading the state in electric fleets. Heavy-duty pickups and larger vans are 30 percent of the fleet. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including bucket trucks, make up the remaining 30 percent.

“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.

Electric vehicles offer maintenance and fuel savings over the lifetime of the vehicles. These saving offset any additional costs at the time of purchase. For example, an electric SUV available today costs 25 percent less to own and operate compared to a gas SUV, truck, or van over a ten-year lifecycle. Additionally, purchase options are increasing and prices for some electric vehicles are dropping.

In 2014, EEI asked members to spend at least 5 percent of their annual fleet purchasing budget on plug-in vehicles. Hawaiian Electric joined nearly 60 percent 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, making electric transportation increasingly important to reaching a sustainable clean energy future. Electric vehicles reduce fossil fuel use and emissions and will help add more renewable energy resources to support the state’s goal to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

In December 2017, the four counties also committed to 100 percent 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 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales are zero-emission vehicles by 2050. The interim target is 30 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies providing electricity for about 220 million Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries, as international members.