Cars WRTA Alternative Transportation Launch

Published on March 31st, 2014 | by Silvio Marcacci


Massachusetts Plugs Into Electric Vehicle Incentives

March 31st, 2014 by  

Massachusetts has unveiled two new incentive programs designed to help shift its transition to a clean transportation future into the fast lane.

The two new incentives, unveiled last week by Governor Deval Patrick, will provide point-of-sale rebates for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) as well as grants to help schools and government entities purchase EVs and charging infrastructure.

By committing to help drivers cut their emissions, the Bay State is accelerating clean transportation funding en route to a goal of 300,000 EVs on the road as part of a multi-state compact targeting 3.3 million EVs in the US by 2025.

WRTA Alternative Transportation Launch

Deval Patrick at WRTA Alternative Transportation Launch via Massachusetts Governor’s Office

Direct Consumer Rebates For New Electric Vehicles

Despite having one of the overall healthiest clean energy economies in America, Massachusetts has traditionally lagged behind other states in EV incentives and sales, but this new round of rebates could turn things around.

The Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOREV) incentive will provide consumer rebates of up to $2,500 for purchase of a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle to be registered in the state. Any Massachusetts resident is eligible for the rebate, and the program is funded by revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program.

Full rebate program details won’t be announced until later this year, but the rebate is expected to apply only to new vehicle sales and will be available directly at the dealership, instead of a tax credit, as in the federal and many state-level EV incentive programs.

Incentives Also Charge Up Vehicle Fleets

Governor Patrick also announced a new set of funding grants through the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) to help large fleets supercharge EV integration. Nearly $600,000 in grants was awarded to 17 municipalities, 3 universities, and the Department of Environmental Protection to acquire PHEVs and EVs, as well as install Level 2 charging stations.

Both incentives were announced during the unveiling of an all-electric fleet of 6 buses at the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA). The Proterra plug-ins were purchased with more than $7 million in federal and state grants, will eliminate nearly 800 tons of carbon dioxide annually and cut fuel costs $3 million over 12 years, and can function as energy storage units through vehicle-to-grid technology.

“We are committed to using innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our clean energy economy,” said Governor Patrick. “The WRTA’s new fleet is an example of how we are accelerating the adoption of cleaner vehicles through Massachusetts to reduce harmful pollutants and promote a more sustainable environment for future generations.”

Overall Turn Toward Lower Emissions

While big news, the Massachusetts EV incentives are just one part of an overall turn toward low-emissions transportation. The Patrick Administration has invested over $20 million in EV and alternative fuel vehicles, and last year signed onto the Zero-Emission Vehicle Program, an eight-state memorandum of understanding to add 3.3 million EVs to the US by 2025.

Transportation emissions represent more than one-third of total emissions across the Commonwealth, but Massachusetts has set a goal of reducing them 7.6% by 2020 as part of a $50 million clean energy and climate resiliency plan.

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About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

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