• COURTESY HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE

  • COURTESY HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE Roberts Hawaii unveiled its new logo, which includes its bunny holding an electric lightning bolt, for its new electric school buses and electric motor coaches.

    COURTESY HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE

    Roberts Hawaii unveiled its new logo, which includes its bunny holding an electric lightning bolt, for its new electric school buses and electric motor coaches.

  • COURTESY HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE A blessing was held Thursday morning across from the state Capitol for the arrival of five electric vehicles, including two Roberts Hawaii school buses and three motor coach tour buses, purchased with the help of a federal rebate program.

    COURTESY HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE

    A blessing was held Thursday morning across from the state Capitol for the arrival of five electric vehicles, including two Roberts Hawaii school buses and three motor coach tour buses, purchased with the help of a federal rebate program.

State officials recently unveiled five new, zero-emission electric battery buses purchased with the help of a federal rebate program.

A blessing was held Thursday morning across from the state Capitol for the arrival of the electric vehicles, including two yellow Roberts Hawaii school buses and three motor coach tour buses.

The buses were purchased with assistance from the Diesel Replacement Rebate program, which is funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.

They arrived in recent weeks although they were purchased last year, which was the first year of the rebate program.

“We are absolutely committed to pursuing climate change strategies that are equitable, culturally responsive and resilient,” said Gov. Josh Green in a news release. “Renewable energy and sustainable transportation are going to be a huge part of our future, so we need to build on progress we have already made, with more events like today.”

The program provides rebates of up to 45% of the total purchase amount to replace medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment with new battery electric or hydrogen equivalents. Additionally, the rebate covers up to 45% of an EV charger per electric vehicle.

Roy Pfund, president and CEO of Roberts Hawaii, said the company appreciates the state support and rebate assistance for the transformation, which has been a multi-year effort.

With the unveiling of the new electric charter buses, Roberts Hawaii has also created a new logo of their bunny holding an electric lighting bolt.

The Diesel Replacement Rebate program is administered by the Hawaii State Energy office in partnership with the state Health Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

To date, the program has allocated about $3.2 million to offset the purchase of eight vehicles, including seven buses and one forklift.

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