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Electric cars: Hawaii expands rebate fund

Electric cars so popular that state adds $350,000 to its rebate fund and extends deadline. Hawaii offers up to $4,500 to buyers of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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In this file photo, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, state and Mitsubishi officials, and new Mitsubishi owners commemorate the first retail customer delivery in the US of the 100-percent electric Mitsubishi i in December. Electric cars are so popular in the state that it has just added $350,000 to its rebate fund.

Luci Pemoni/AP images for Mitsubishi/File

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Hawaii is adding more money to an electric vehicle rebate program and extending the deadline for the rebates.

State officials said Tuesday that because of an increase in demand for electric cars, $350,000 is being added for rebates on new electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and chargers.

The deadline for the rebates is being extended from March 31 to Nov. 1.

Energy officials say expanding the EV Ready Rebate Program provides a long-term solution as Hawaii works toward reaching energy independence.

Since March 2011, 618 rebates have been approved for 372 vehicles and 246 chargers. Hawaii residents can apply for rebates of up to $4,500 on electric vehicle purchases and up to $500 for chargers. In addition, federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 are also available.

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