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Electric Cars Rebate Expands in Hawaii Amid Power Grid Warning

Electric Cars Rebate Expands in Hawaii Amid Power Grid Warning

Hawaii is experiencing an increased demand for electric vehicles, causing the state to add an additional $350,000 to its electric vehicle rebate program. The move comes as experts in Australia discuss the potential problems electric vehicles could have on the distribution of power.

Electric cars are booming in popularity on the island state and officials have announced that because of the popularity of the energy efficient cars, the state rebate program for the vehicles would be extended through Nov. 1, 2012.

The rebate program, known as EV Ready Rebate, was originally expected to come to an end at the end of this month.

The program enables owners of electric vehicles in the state to expect a rebate of up to $4,500 from the state, along with a several thousand-dollar federal tax break.

"The purpose of the Transportation Energy Diversification Project is to transform Hawaii's transportation sector to one less dependent on liquid petroleum fuels by accelerating the adoption of electric drive vehicles and charging equipment in Hawaii," the website for the rebate program reads.

Residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies can claim rebates, so long as the electric vehicle is purchased in Hawaii.

Electric and new plug-in hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity globally, and experts predict that almost half of all car sales in the world by 2030 will be for electric vehicles.

However, increasing demand for electric vehicles could turn out to be problematic and challenge the power grid if not properly managed.

"Electric cars are a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions but we need to make sure we manage the way people are recharge them," South Australian Minister for Energy Tom Koutstantonis told the Australian news site

"We don't want the entire state to plug the cars in at times of peak demand, we want to manage this so that they are plugged in when demand is low," he added.

Known for their environmental friendliness, energy efficiency, and range, electric vehicles can cause an increase in demand for electrical power, which could prove to be problematic during peek demand seasons and times.

"The worst imaginable situation you could have is your neighbor yelling at you because you blacked out the neighborhood," Ed Kjaer of Southern California Edison's electric transportation program said at a 2009 conference.

Nevertheless, researchers are currently working to improve battery technologies, which could reduce the challenges likely to come with the added demand for electrical power on a state, and could make the cars an even better investment for the energy aware.

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