Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, July 14, 2024 83° Today's Paper

Top News

Free parking for electric vehicles at municipal lots, meters, is over

City officials today reminded the public that electric vehicles will no longer be able to park for free at county as well as state parking lots and meters due to the repeal of those benefits on June 30.

Last week, the Hawaii Department of Transportation reminded EV owners those benefits were ending, as well, at state airports, lots and meters.

The law — Act 168 — was enacted in 2012 as a way to provide Hawaii residents with incentives to purchase EVs. It offered EV owners special electric vehicle license plates, which gave them numerous perks, including the free parking as well as use of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes with a single driver.

The expiration of perks comes as the number of registered passenger EVs in the state continues to grow, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

DBEDT’s May report found the number of passenger EVs in the state grew to 12,140, an increase of 2,856 vehicles, or 30.8%, from the same month last year, and an increase of 152 vehicles, or 1.3%, from April. Still, EVs in May represented only 1.1% of the 1,074,945 registered passenger vehicles in the state.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday said he supported the continuation of free parking for EVs, and that he felt there was still a need to provide incentives to get off of fossil fuels, but that the law must be followed.

Honolulu strongly supports the electrification of transportation, the city said in a news release, and is working to expand EV charging stations across Oahu, as well as transition its fleet to clean energy by 2035.

The state Highways Division, meanwhile, said it was working to continue offering EV owners the use of HOV lanes because the Federal Highway Administration supports it.

Questions on municipal parking can be emailed to parking@honolulu.gov.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.