Graduation Date

Spring 2019

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Kevin Fingerman

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Peter Alstone

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Arne Jacobson

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environmental Systems


Rental car fleets have high potential to contribute to electric vehicle (EV) adoption within the Hawaiian Islands as part of the state’s efforts to fully decarbonize its ground transportation by 2045. Of the four main islands, Kauaʻi County’s small and simple road network, high penetration of renewable energy, and low speed limits make it an ideal candidate for a pilot EV rental program. This research seeks to accomplish three primary goals: a) quantify the relative economic and environmental benefits of rental electric vehicles over internal combustion rentals, b) identify crucial locations for additional charging infrastructure, and c) provide policy recommendations aimed at improving EV adoption both within Kauaʻi County and the State of Hawai’i. Across all three examined categories, EVs appear to cost more than internal-combustion vehicles for rental car companies, requiring additional measures to achieve cost parity. Previous studies suggest that in tourist-heavy destinations, partnering with local businesses and attractions to offer benefits to EV rental program participants may increase the appeal of switching away from a conventional rental car. The Plug-in Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (PEVI) model highlights a near-term need for DC Fast Chargers on the north and west sides of the island, and predicts a significant need for additional chargers in the urban core of Kapa‘a by 2025. Composing an EV rental fleet of exclusively long-range (>200 miles/full charge) electric vehicles can help eliminate the common problem of “range anxiety”, especially when coupled with a reliable, wide network of DC Fast Chargers.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location