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Massachusetts Electric Car Charging Council Issues Report

Last month, we published a blog encouraging residents of Massachusetts to send in comments to the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Coordinating Council (EVICC) as it was preparing its initial assessment for the Legislature. Dozens of you responded and sent in your thoughts on the state of electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts – thank you! Now, EVICC has published its Initial Assessment. Here’s what’s in that report and what's next.

Reminder: What’s EVICC Again? 

Last year’s climate law created an interagency council to assess the state of EV charging in Massachusetts today and plan for an “equitable, interconnected, accessible and reliable electric vehicle charging network.” That network must support the 900,000 vehicles we need to be electric by 2030 per the state’s Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP). The council, known as EVICC and made up of representatives from lots of different state agencies, has been meeting since May and was required to report back to the Legislature with an “initial assessment” by August 11, 2023.


What’s In The Initial Assessment?

The “Initial Assessment” submitted to the Legislature is 82 pages long and covers the council’s findings so far, areas where further research is needed, and initial policy recommendations. There’s a lot of content in this document, particularly on existing programs. The Boston Globe summed up the report by saying “Massachusetts needs more EV chargers — wicked badly,” and that’s definitely true, but there are a couple more specific points we want to highlight.


Number & Type of Chargers 

To reach our 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, EVICC reports that the Commonwealth will need 10,000 public DC Fast Charging ports and 35,000 public Level 2 charging ports. That’s in addition to 700,000 workplace and residential charging ports 

Right now, there are 649 DC Fast Charging ports and 5,404 public Level 2 ports in Massachusetts, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center. There’s no reliable estimate for the number of workplace and residential charging ports in the state, unfortunately, but clearly, we’ve got a ways to go. Importantly, these EVICC figures offer more granularity than the CECP, which simply said we need 75,000 public charging stations by 2030 but did not distinguish between DC Fast Charging and Level 2. 

As a reminder, we need these charging stations to cover about ten times more EVs than we have on the roads today – we don’t need them all tomorrow. But we do need to plan carefully so we can build up infrastructure through the rest of this decade.


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Alternative Fuels Data Center: Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations (


Charger Reliability

A big topic of conversation at the EVICC meeting and in the report is the fact that, too often, public charging stations don’t work, either because of a problem in the charging software, payment platform, or physical hardware. EVICC’s work identified that the Division of Standards (DOS) needs the Legislature to pass legislation to require public charging stations to register with the DOS so that they can be regularly inspected. (The DOS is the state entity that enforces weights and measures laws, which includes devices that measure a “commodity available for sale”, like electricity. It follows the guidelines of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which updated its handbook as of January of this year to include EV charging stations.) 

Right now, DOS has the authority to inspect charging stations, but because there is no requirement to register them, DOS doesn’t have a list of which stations to inspect. DOS will also need more funding to be able to support inspections across the state. Green Energy Consumers will investigate this further for future legislative priorities! 

EV Ambassador Nicole Cooper Volvo XC40 charging at Electrify America stations epic sky glowing green for blog


Managed Charging

Green Energy Consumers is a big advocate for managed charging programs. This year we’re supporting an off-peak charging bill and when we weighed in on the utilities’ proposed EV programs before the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved them, we submitted testimony that the proposed off-peak charging rebate should be larger. The EVICC report really drives home the need for managed charging, specifically calling out off-peak charging rebates and time-of-use rates.

In its analysis, the report projects that peak demand could grow 1,400 MW from EV charging by 2030 (that’s huge!), but that with effective managed charging programs, that could be reduced to 470 MW. (For context, we send out Shave the Peak alerts when demand on the entire New England power grid exceeds 22,000 MW.) The generators that provide power at peak demand moments are disproportionately expensive and polluting, so EVICC makes it really clear that robust managed charging programs are crucial to protect the grid.


Infrastructure Upgrades 

Finally, one clear through-line through EVICC’s work concerns the need to upgrade the grid. Right now, too many projects are stalled while waiting for interconnection permission and there’s no comprehensive plan to make sure the utilities upgrade infrastructure at the appropriate pace – and the appropriate cost. Here, EVICC’s work overlaps with that of the Grid Modernization Advisory Council (which our Executive Director Larry Chretien sits on). Both bodies will continue to work on this topic (as will we).


What’s Next? 

The EVICC report starts and ends with a list of recommendations. Some are unfortunately a little vague (along the lines of “the state will continue to work on ___”), but others are more specific – like the need for new legislation to support the DOS, or directives for “right to charge” legislation (already in our priority list). The report makes clear, as agency representatives did frequently in all the EVICC meetings we attended, that the council’s work does not end here. Now that this initial assessment has been delivered to the legislature, EVICC will refine its analysis to drill down into specific location needs, incorporate an analysis of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, and crucially decide how to spend $50 million allocated to EV charging by last year’s economic development bill. We will continue to attend EVICC meetings and keep you posted!