State briefs for June 28

Electric vehicle perks set to expire

HONOLULU (AP) — Drivers will no longer receive certain benefits for driving electric vehicles in Hawaii under a law set to expire at the end of the month.

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The Hawaii Department of Transportation has reminded electric vehicle owners that they will now be charged a fee for parking at most state and county parking lots and meters starting Wednesday.

Electric vehicle owners must also now pay an additional $50 surcharge with their registration fees.

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie enacted the law in 2012 that offered electric vehicle owners special license plates, which gave them numerous perks, including free parking and use of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.

The perks served as incentives for residents to purchase more sustainable vehicles.

Its disappointing to see the perks ending, said Herb Law of Honolulu, owner of a Tesla and BMW i3. Law suggested perks should be given to all-electric vehicles, rather than plug-in hybrids using a combination of fuel and batteries.

“We bought into the philosophy of all electric,” Law said. “We travel interisland, and going to the airport for a day or two, that’s a great perk. That’s probably the one we will miss the most.”

The perks added up to about $4 million a year in free parking at state airports, department officials said.

All-day parking at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu costs at most $18 each day and $15 each day at other airports.

City of Honolulu limits permits for campgrounds

HONOLULU (AP) — The city of Honolulu has announced that campgrounds will reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The city will now issue permits for just over 100 campsites across Oahu.

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“There’s severely limited amount of campsites now. We went to about half of what’s available. Simply because we wanted to physically distance the campsites,” Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Nathan Serota said.

Regular camp rules still apply. Social distancing is intended to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

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