Electric Cars

Electric Vehicles

The transportation sector is now our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts, with the vast majority of those transportation emissions coming from light-duty vehicles (the millions of personal cars we drive).  The best option for a clean transportation fuel is electricity, and aside from using high-capacity public transit like buses and trains or outright not driving at all, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are our cleanest option to get around. They require no gasoline and emit no pollution from their tailpipes, contributing to healthier local air quality. They present a critical opportunity to slash pollution and reduce our dependence on oil. 

It is true that an EV is only as clean as the electric grid from which it charges. Yet when comparing the emissions from generating the electricity for an EV against the emissions from the extraction, transport, and burning of oil and petroleum in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, EVs still come out ahead.  In Massachusetts we already have one of the cleanest electric grids in the United States and we are working aggressively toward making it 100% renewable.  It's critical that we electrify transportation and "fuel up" from 100% renewable energy.

Want to help your city or town support and promote electric vehicles?

Cities and towns can and must do much more to promote the switch to EVs. In addition to leading by example, municipal coordination with auto dealers, utilities, nonprofits, contractors, etc. can result in unique partnerships, achieving things like improved public awareness of EV benefits, better prices for EVs and charging stations, increased availability of public charging infrastructure, and more.

Charging Stations and Fleet Electrification

  • Increase public charging locations, making it easy for anyone living or traveling through your municipality to own and operate an electric vehicle.
    See the MassDEP grant opportunities and utility make-ready programs from Eversource and National Grid for more information.  

  • Transition municipal fleet to electric vehicles, with a timeframe for achieving total fleet electrification, and interim goals.

    • Transition to electric school buses and/or work with fleet managers to do so.

    • Urge and support your local transit authority to electrify the bus routes running through your municipality.

Education and Outreach/PR

  • Advertise, host, sponsor, or get involved with local EV test-drive events. Become part of National Drive Electric Week!

  • Include an easy-to-find tab on your town/city’s webpage dedicated to EV education, including an updated map of charging station locations.

  • Clearly indicate locations of public charging stations with intelligently placed signs.

  • Encourage residents to seek discounts on EV purchases through vehicle buying groups, and rebate programs such as MOR-EV

  • Encourage and publicly recognize local auto dealers for outstanding EV sales.

Policies and Programs

  • Satisfy criterion for Green Community Status, then apply for grants to fund further EV initiatives and projects.

  • Offer preferential parking for EVs, such as dedicated spaces or free meters.

  • Restructure permit requirements to support level 2 charging infrastructure.

  • Support utility time-of-use electricity rates that sufficiently encourage EV charging during off-peak electrical demand periods.

  • Support increased funding for rebate programs consumer rebate programs. Visit https://mor-ev.org/.


Grant Programs to Support Electric Vehicle Adoption

AchiEVe: Model Policies to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption

May 2017 "Vermont utility offers $1200 EV rebate"

February 24, 2017 Worcester, MA telegram.com: "As I See It: Accelerating electric vehicle use"

November 7, 2016 Twenty-Two Local Elected Officials' Letter to Governor Baker supporting strong ZEV regulations from California Air Resources Board

September 15, 2016 PressReader video: "Sierra Club Electric Vehicles Initiative Director Gina Coplon-Newfield on why electric vehicles will save you money and decrease pollution"

September 2016 Multi-State Study of the Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience
EVs: Myths Vs. Reality

Which EV is Best for Me?

Mass. $2,500 Rebate FAQ

Mass. $2,500 Rebate

June 2016 DOER FAQ on Benefits of EV Wiring in Building Codes

January 2016 New England International Auto Show Brochure - with many EV models available

October 2015 "Charging Up: The Role of States, Utilities, and the Auto Industry in Dramatically Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States"

October 26, 2015 "Is The Future of Transport All-Electric?"

September 23, 2015 GreenCarReports.com: "Electric Cars Cut Greenhouse Gas Gases, Energy Use: New EPRI-NRDC Study"