Electric vehicles put charge into Hawaii’s auto sales

Hawaii auto sales, stymied by the lingering effects of the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, are expected to accelerate 3.7% this year amid the possibility of lower income rates in the upcoming months, falling vehicle prices and strong wage gains.

Alternative powertrain vehicles likely will lead the charge as the state continues its transition away from fossil fuels.


Battery electric vehicle registrations in the state rose 11% in the first quarter from the year-earlier period as the market share of BEVs among all vehicles sold in Hawaii reached a record 15%, according to a recent report from Hawaii Auto Outlook. Tesla’s share of the BEV market was 60.5% in the first quarter, with the Tesla Y the automaker’s most popular brand.

Hybrid vehicles encompassed 11.2% of the market share in the first quarter; plug-in hybrids’ market share was 2.2%.

New-vehicle registrations for all vehicles declined 2.1% in the first quarter from a year earlier but are anticipated to hit 48,300 this year. That would be up from 46,566 in 2023 and up from 47,769 in 2022. In 2021, registrations topped 50,000 at 54,591.

“Pent-up demand is still significant and the state labor market is recovering,” Jeffrey Foltz, editor of Hawaii Auto Outlook, wrote in the quarterly report that is produced for the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. “Vehicle affordability is still a concern, but should improve as the year progresses.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's 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. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.