Congressional lawmakers are hammering out a tax plan. One of those plans could cut funds for buyers of new electric vehicles, if the federal EV tax credit ends. 

More than a thousand new electric vehicles hit Hawaii's roads so far this year, which already tops the number for all of last year.  

In fact, the only electric vehicle you'll find at Tony Nissan's large Waipio lot, is the one belonging to its EV specialist Kurt Speas, "We're sold out. It has been doing really, really well."

Sales are up, in part because buyers of electric vehicles may qualify for a federal tax credit up to $7,500. The incentive was put in place to encourage people to give the new technology a try.

"It has been out there from the beginning, and keep things flowing on a smooth basis, in fact taking it away would cause a disruption of the market at this point, we'd like to see that continue," said Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association Executive Director Dave Rolf.

But that may not happen.

Some congressional lawmakers want put the brakes on the EV credit.

"The whole idea of the tax credit was to subsidize it until manufacturers could get production costs down, and now they have. A fully loaded Leaf costs the same as a fully loaded Altima, our mid-sized car," stated Speas.

More companies have introduced electric vehicles, giving buyers more options while bringing down the cost of the technology to power the cars.
That is why, if the tax credit ends, Hawaii dealers don't expect the change to stall EV sales.

"We expect it will affect sales a little," said Speas.

In fact, the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association remains optimistic electric vehicles will get the green light from buyers in 2018.

"We see a bright future for electric vehicles and the electrification of cars in general," said Rolf.

Partly because of the push for the development of more features controlled by the car instead of the driver. 

Nissan will unveil its new semi-autonomous driving Leaf Sunday. Which will be able to brake for drivers, keep the car in lanes and eventually even parallel park. 

It already comes with a waiting list to get one.

"We have about 73 orders right now for the new car," stated Speas.

Other companies, like Tesla, already have many of those features on their electric cars.

In the future, Hawaii drivers can expect to see even more electric and autonomous cars on the roads.

"Nineteen different manufacturers are coming out with autonomous vehicles in 2020," added Rolf.