Honolulu among top 10 electric vehicle markets in America

This story appeared in the Pacific Business News on Friday, December 16, 2018

More and more consumers in Honolulu have been making the switch from conventional fossil fuel-powered cars to electric vehicles, placing the city among the top 10 EV markets in the country.

According to a recent report by Experian Information Solutions, which examined all EV sales during the first six months of this year, the Honolulu designated market area had the eighth highest EV market share in the United States at 2.2 percent.

While the figure continues to be relatively low, it easily beat the EV market share for the entire country, which was 0.9 percent during the first half of 2018.

The report showed that EV market share depends largely on geography, as six of the top 10 EV markets are in California, and not a single one is east of the Rocky Mountains.

The leading EV market in the U.S. is the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area, with a market share of 7.9 percent, followed by San Diego at 4 percent and Juneau, Alaska at 3.5 percent.

Experian said in its report that increasing EV market share requires an understanding of the local market.

"Some in the industry may not view Juneau, Alaska as a hotbed for EVs, but the data tells a different story," the report stated.

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association showed that 20 percent, or 50 million Americans, will likely go electric for their next vehicle purchase, up from 15 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, the total number of EVs across Islands was 7,954 last month, according to recent state data. The figure represents an increase of 22.6 percent from October 2017.

With more than 1.07 million registered passenger vehicles in the state, the share of EVs remains below 1 percent. Nevertheless, Hawaii has the second highest EV adoption rate per capita in the country, trailing only California.

In an effort to increase EV market share in Hawaii, eight public, private and nonprofit organizations have teamed up to create Drive Electric Hawaii, which seeks to promote electric transportation options.