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USA: Demand for electric vehicles in Hawaii ends state rebate program earlier than expected

HONOLULU — A Hawaii electric vehicle rebate program has run out of money after doling out about $2 million since January 2011.

The state extended the program twice, adding $500,000 in an effort to stimulate demand for electric vehicles as a way for Hawaii to work toward reducing the state’s oil consumption. Hawaii seeks to become 70 percent energy independent by 2030.

But high consumer demand led to depleting the fund earlier than expected, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday ((http://bit.ly/JXVI51 ). Funds ran out earlier this month after the state issued more than 450 rebates. Officials had hoped to keep the program going until November. The program provided motorists $4,500 toward the purchase of new electric vehicles and up to $500 for chargers.

“The public demand has exceeded expectations, and we are happy to report Hawaii consumers are adopting EVs (electric vehicles) much more readily than the national average,” said Mark Glick, energy program administrator for the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Energy Office.
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