Hawaiians Enraged Over Free EV Parking at Honolulu Airport, Claim They’re Hogging Spots

“We’ve been here more than 30 minutes. And the bad thing is all we see is electric cars,” said a traveler about EVs taking up 450 out of 4,500 spots.

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo

Electric car owners are allegedly abusing a privilege given to them by a Honolulu airport that allows them to park their EVs for up to three months at no cost. Instead of simply taking advantage of this perk when flying, they're believed to be flooding the airport and taking up over 550 parking spots that would normally be drawing revenue for the state, forcing it to lose out on approximately $10,000 daily because of it. Now, however, locals are speaking out against the issue.

Hawaii News Now reports that of HNL's 4,500 parking spots, over 10 percent is taken up by EVs, despite electric cars making up less than one percent of the vehicles on the state's roads.

"The free parking at the airport does present a difficult situation because we only have a limited amount of parking available for the public," said Tim Sakahara, spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, to the publication.

HNN reports that because EVs are allowed free parking, the state of Hawaii is losing out on "millions" of dollars in revenue. Spot Hero reports that the average daily cost of a parking spot at HNL is $18, meaning 550 EVs are together counting out almost $10,000 in daily revenue for the state. If sustained, this parking lockdown could indeed result in the state missing out on over $1 million in parking fees around every three and a half months, or over $3.6 million each year. HNN speculates that the majority of the spot-squatting EVs belong to airport employees.

"We've been here 30 minutes, more than 30 minutes. And the bad thing is all we see is electric cars," said Kaimuki resident Avi Maschkowski to HNN.

Hawaii reportedly introduced a bill that would have reduced free airport parking for EVs to three hours, but the bill was not passed, as attributed to pressure from electric car owners. Government incentives for EVs, in general, are under fire from conservative media and the Trump administration, which has threatened to repeal a federal tax credit offering up to $7,500 in tax rebates for EV buyers. These criticisms have in turn been the subject of examination as the petroleum industry has been a longstanding recipient of government subsidization.