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Electric vehicles top 11K in Hawaii

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Electric cars parked at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The state this month reported there were more than 11,000 registered passenger electric vehicles at the start of the year.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Electric cars parked at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The state this month reported there were more than 11,000 registered passenger electric vehicles at the start of the year.

The state this month reported there were more than 11,000 registered passenger electric vehicles at the start of the year, meaning Hawaii surpassed its milestone by more than a thousand.

As of January, there were 11,081 passenger EVs in Hawaii, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said in its monthly energy trend report.

That was an increase of 2,650 vehicles, or a 31.4% jump from the same month last year, and 1,647 more vehicles, or a 17.5% jump from December 2019.

The number of passenger hybrid vehicles in Hawaii was 24,277, a 3.3% decrease from the same month last year, and a 0.1% drop from December 2019.

The reports— which are issued by DBEDT’s Research and Economic Analysis Division — are usually released the first week of the following month.

Why the big jump in 2020 following the strange drop of nearly 1,500 EVs last fall?

The use of a data filtering system by county agencies, apparently, resulted in an undercount of EV registrations back in October 2019, when DBEDT mysteriously reported 8,546 passenger EVs, which was a drop of 1,457 from September 2019.

This was after the 10,000 milestone had reportedly been reached in September 2019.

DBEDT currently relies on vehicle tax data provided by Hawaii counties to report the number of EVs in its monthly energy trend report.

The data filter system was lifted in January, and the numbers jumped beyond 11,000.

At the time of the discrepancy, the State Energy Office had said it would be developing its own methodology for compiling vehicle registration data to more accurately reflect the number of EVs in Hawaii.

In January, the regular gasoline price in Hawaii averaged $3.65 per gallon, which was $1.10 per gallon, or 43.2% higher than the national average —$2.55 per gallon — for the month.

Highest average prices for regular gasoline last month were highest on Kauai at $3.88, followed by Wailuku at $3.84, Hilo at $3.77, and Oahu at $3.53 per gallon.

For the month of January, DBEDT also reported a total of 1,084,527 registered passenger vehicles in the state, an increase of 13,039 vehicles, or 1.2% higher than the same month last year, and an increase of 1,816 vehicles, or 0.2% higher than December 2019. The number of passenger gasoline vehicles was 1,040,204.

Based on these numbers, registered EVs now make up 1% of all registered passenger vehicles in Hawaii.

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