Massachusetts Set to Boost Its Electric Vehicle Network

Data: SparkCharge; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Massachusetts could soon get more electric vehicle drivers — and more charging stations to fill the gaps — if Gov. Charlie Baker approves a climate bill passed by lawmakers over the weekend.

What is happening: The bill includes up to $5,000 in rebates for electric vehicle purchases (and another $1,500 rebate for low-income drivers) and would require MassDOT to install charging stations at city transportation hubs. the state.

  • It would also create a council to direct plans to add charging stations.
  • The bill comes as the Biden administration prepares to send Massachusetts $63 million over five years to expand its electric vehicle charging network.

Why is this important: Massachusetts has an ambitious goal to add 300,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025 to help reduce carbon emissions.

  • The state had one-tenth that number of electric vehicles registered in June, according to the Federal Alternative Fuels Data Center.
  • The rebates could further incentivize residents to buy electric vehicles, and the addition of public charging stations could help the state meet demand as more drivers go electric.

What they say : “If Governor Baker signs this bill, the cars we drive will be cleaner and the air we breathe will be healthier,” Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said in a statement to Axios. .

By the numbers: Massachusetts is home to at least 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations, according to one estimate.

  • Of these, nearly half (771) are in Middlesex and Suffolk counties, while parts of central and western Massachusetts have far fewer stations.

Details: Under the bill, MassDOT would at least have plans by next July to add charging stations to MassPike service plazas and transit station parking lots.

  • The state is expected to approve discounts for off-peak EV charging (National Grid says its off-peak hours are 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. the next day).
  • By 2035, all new cars for sale must be zero-emission vehicles.

And after: Baker has until next week to act on the bill.

  • But getting lawmakers to vote on any changes Baker makes, or override a veto, will prove difficult now that the formal legislative session is over.

About Robert Pierson

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