As frequent readers of our blog will know, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. The cars, trucks, and buses on our roads are also responsible for pollution that causes direct and widespread harm to human health – harm that disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. Right now, there’s something you can do about it: get your legislator to attend an upcoming briefing on bills that will work on these issues!
New Incentive for Electric Trucks in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently announced that the popular rebate program for electric vehicles, MOR-EV, will now offer incentives for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks too. This is great news for the climate and public health in Massachusetts.
We’re big advocates for incentivizing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their cars off-peak by offering them a lower retail price per kilowatt-hour (kWh). “Off-peak” periods refer to times when demand for electricity is low. At these times, wholesale electricity prices and emissions per unit of energy are lower as well. Shifting EV charging demand by setting a price signal — sometimes called a “time-varying rate” (TVR) or “time-of-use rate” (TOU) — is a win for everyone: EV drivers, non-EV drivers, the environment, and our electric grid. Right now, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is considering whether and how to move forward on this issue — and we wanted to give you an update on progress made so far. (Fair warning: if ever there was a blogpost for the policy wonks, this is it!)
At yesterday's Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Commission's quarterly meeting, the state announced a change to the MOR-EV rebate program. This important electric vehicle incentive will now be available to commercial fleet owners, as well as individual residents of the Commonwealth. We applaud the state for taking this step and are encouraged by conversation that further program changes may follow. In fact, we have a couple of ideas...
On December 6, 2018, the state of Massachusetts announced that it will extend the popular electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through June 30, 2019. However, as of January 1, 2019, the rules of the program will change: only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a sales price under $50,000 will qualify for the rebate, which will drop from $2,500 to $1,500. Though we applaud the state’s efforts to extend this important incentive, we know the Commonwealth needs to be doing more to spur electric vehicle adoption.
Since we launched Drive Green with Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light in November of 2016, a lot has changed in the electric vehicle market. At launch, we had four electric vehicles (EVs) from three manufacturers available through the program. Now, we’ve got seventeen vehicles from ten manufacturers, and the list is growing all the time! As the options increase, finding the best electric car for you might seem like it’s getting more overwhelming too. But don’t you worry! Here’s a quick who’s-who of the top electric cars available through our program right now.
Since November 2016, we have helped hundreds of people learn about and buy or lease electric cars at significant discounts. Consumers from all walks of life have come through the Drive Green program. But some of our members, as we like to call them, have expertise in fields such as energy, climate, and electric vehicles (EVs). Here’s what a few have to say.
As you may have noticed, it's gotten to be *really* cold recently. Electric vehicle (EV) performance does change in winter, but so does that of gas-powered cars.
It’s no fun taking away the punch bowl just as the party was getting good, so we decided that Drive Green with Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light, our newest program, is here to stay, rather than ending on June 30 as we previously indicated. Our board of directors voted unanimously to keep the program going. We see it as a great way to achieve our mission of making energy more sustainable and affordable. When we launched the program on November 2, we had a good feeling that it would go well and, truth be told, it has. We’re proud to say that over 130 people have purchased or leased electric cars, dozens more are in the process, and more people are registering every day. And the comments we have received from shoppers have been very positive. One thing that really makes us happy is when a new owner sends us a testimonial talking about how much they love their car or how they enjoyed our program. We know we’re not yet perfect, but we are confident we’re on the right track.
We talk a lot about the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to fight climate change. We run programs and support policies in an effort meet our states' greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals: in Massachusetts, the statutory requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act, in Rhode Island, the Resilient Rhode Island Act. With our climate going haywire (see the record-setting droughts, floods, and heat waves of 2016) and the emissions reductions of electric vehicles, climate change is one of the reasons we launched Drive Green with Mass Energy and People's Power & Light. But, setting climate change aside for a moment (a big ask, we know), replacing internal combustion engines on our roads with electric vehicles should still be a state priority. Why?