Hawaii EV incentives, tax credits and rebates

What savings can you count on for a battery-powered vehicle and home charger?

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a Tesla on a highway in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the leading states in electric vehicle adoption, but its residents can only access federal tax credits for the acquisition of new and used plug-in vehicles — up to $7,500 and $4,000, respectively. The state doesn’t offer any particular EV incentives, although that doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on EV adoption.

Through February 2024, Hawaii ranked fifth in overall EV adoption at 11.9% of new retail vehicles, according to J.D. Power research.


Key insights

EV and plug-in hybrid buyers in Hawaii can only get federal tax credits for electric vehicles — no state incentives.

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Consumers can expect savings of up to $7,500 for a new EV or $4,000 for a used EV in Hawaii.

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You can also save up to 30% off the cost of a Level 2 EV charger (no more than $1,000 per unit).

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2024 Tesla Model Y shoppers in Hawaii can save up to $7,500 with the federal EV tax credit.

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Current EV incentives in Hawaii

There are two main types of EV incentives: one for the purchase of vehicles — new or used — and the other for acquiring home charging equipment. In each case, buyers get to save money in the form of a financial incentive, an income tax credit or a rebate.

While the federal tax credits are the same across the entire nation, state incentives vary from one state to another. There are a number of states that have actual EV incentives, and their residents can combine the state incentives with the federal tax credits to achieve significant savings. Hawaii is not among those states, though.

Electric vehicle purchase incentives in Hawaii

Eligible Hawaii residents can qualify for a total of three EV tax credits in 2024, all of which are funded by the U.S. federal government. Unfortunately, the state government does not have any incentive programs available (at the time of writing in May 2024).

That said, you can still save up to $7,500 on a brand-new EV with the federal tax credit, assuming the vehicle you’re looking at qualifies for the maximum amount. That applies to a number of EV models, including the 2024 Tesla Model Y Long Range RWD we used as an example in the final section of this article.

You can also get a used EV tax credit of up to $4,000 and an EV charger tax credit of up to $1,000, thanks to federal programs.

*According to DSIRE for residential incentives only

The EV federal tax credits have been significantly overhauled for 2024. The biggest change is that the tax credits for EVs can be handed over at the point of sale as of Jan. 1, 2024, effectively turning the tax credit into an instant discount when you buy a qualifying vehicle.

Still, you need to make sure that your dealer has registered for the program to benefit from the point-of-sale rebate.

You should also know that both yourself and the EV on your shortlist must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the federal tax credit.

In the case of taxpayers, the most important criteria are the adjusted gross income (AGI) limits of $150,000 for single filers, $225,000 for heads of households and $300,000 for joint filers. If you are looking to take advantage of the used EV tax credit, the income limits are halved for each category: $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of households and $150,000 for joint filers.

As for eligible vehicles, they must undergo the final assembly in North America, have a battery capacity of at least 7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 14,000 pounds. In addition, they must be made by a qualified manufacturer.

Mind you, those are just the basic requirements. A vehicle’s manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) can't surpass $80,000 for vans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, or $55,000 for other vehicles (e.g., sedans, hatchbacks).

And then you have the requirements for the sourcing of critical minerals and battery components. If a vehicle meets both sourcing requirements, it may be eligible for the full $7,500 credit; if it meets only one of these sourcing requirements, it may be eligible for a credit of $3,750. A vehicle that doesn’t meet either requirement will not be eligible for a credit.

You can check out the full list of qualifying battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the U.S. Department of Energy site.

» LEARN: Tax credits

EV charging equipment incentives in Hawaii

While Hawaii does not offer state government incentives for EV charging equipment for residents, you can access the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit provided by the federal government. Eligible customers can qualify for up to 30% of the cost of a Level 2 EV charger, but the amount cannot be higher than $1,000.

It’s always a good idea to also check with your local electric utility companies for any other benefits they may offer to EV owners.

*According to DSIRE for residential incentives only

How much can EV incentives save you in Hawaii?

While an accurate estimate of how much Hawaii residents can save when purchasing an EV or an EV charger in the state is difficult to provide, some concrete examples may help you get an idea of the savings available in this state.

For this, we chose the best-selling new EV in the U.S., the 2024 Tesla Model Y in base Long Range Rear Wheel Drive trim, and one of the best-selling used EVs in the country, the Chevrolet Bolt EV. As you can see in the table below, the savings are substantial, although not as spectacular as in other states that also offer EV incentives of their own on top of the federal tax credits.

Example savings

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FAQ

Does Hawaii have rebates for electric vehicles?

No, Hawaii does not have rebates for electric vehicle owners. Residents can access the federal tax credits, though.

Does Hawaii have tax credits for installing solar panels?

Yes, the Hawaii state government offers an income tax credit of 35% of solar photovoltaic installation costs (up to a maximum of $5,000). The single-use state credit can be combined with the 30% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), leading to big savings. And in some parts of the state, such as the capital Honolulu, residents who are solar owners may get a property tax exemption based on the value of their solar system.

We found that the Aloha State is actually the best state to go solar, thanks to high retail electricity prices — it is ranked No. 1 on ConsumerAffairs’ best states to go solar guide.

Do extended warranties cover electric vehicles?

Most extended warranty providers don’t adequately cover electric vehicles. (That means they either refuse to cover EVs in the first place or refuse to cover the components that make them unique, like their traction batteries and drive units.)

That said, some extended warranty companies are starting to offer full EV coverage, and new companies specializing in coverage for EVs may crop up.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. DSIRE, “Programs.” Accessed May 20, 2024.
  2. CNBC, “Why Hawaii is becoming a leader in U.S. EV adoption.” Accessed May 20, 2024.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy, “Federal Tax Credits for Plug-in Electric and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Purchased in 2023 or After.” Accessed May 20, 2024.
  4. State of Hawaii, “Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC).” Accessed May 20, 2024.
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