The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Electric vehicles/Transportation (2)

Car Corner

The electric car market is evolving rapidly, which offers a mix of excitement and frustration for both enthusiasts and curious customers. The Drive Green team is deeply entrenched in the day-to-day development of the car market, and we’re here to provide you with a comprehensive update in our new quarterly blog series called Car Corner. While the electric vehicle (EV) market has certainly improved since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to understand that issues with lead times still exist, from supply-chain issues to manufacturing delays. Car Corner will be a valuable resource to consumers, where we’ll navigate through the maze of misleading information and share important updates on the market, new EVs to look out for, shifts in state rebates, and some insider tips from dealerships. 

Picture of Ezra Messinger Ezra Messinger

The Economics of Battery Supply Chains: Paving the Way for Electric Vehicle Expansion

The electric vehicle revolution is well underway, promising a greener, more sustainable future for the automotive industry. However, despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), several significant hurdles are obstructing their widespread adoption. At the forefront of these challenges are supply chain issues, particularly concerning critical components like batteries. Among the most pressing concerns is the heavy reliance on rare and essential minerals, including lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which are indispensable for battery cathodes. We’ve written before about the human rights and environmental issues with mineral mining, and that’s something we’re continuing to learn about. This blog post is more focused on the economic side. Though the supply chain for these vital materials is far from stable, and the necessary infrastructure is not yet fully developed, the last year has seen some significant progress – particularly thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.

Picture of Ezra Messinger Ezra Messinger

Electric Cars & Costs to the Grid

As more and more people switch from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs), we hear a lot of questions along the lines of “can the grid handle it?” Sometimes that question is about supply and emissions (i.e. will we have enough clean energy resources to supply all the kilowatt-hours of electricity those EVs will need?), sometimes it’s about reliability (can the infrastructure handle it?), and sometimes it’s about costs. We've written before about how we have time and tools to prepare for this transition. This blog specifically addresses the question of the grid costs of increased EV adoption.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

Demand Charge Alternatives for EV Charging in Massachusetts

Back in January, we wrote aboutthe approval by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of $400 million for electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts. Since then, both National Grid and Eversource have rolled out new incentives for both infrastructure upgrades and charging hardware. (Our incentives pagedetails the incentives available to residential consumers; see this pagefor commercial incentives).In addition to approving these programs to address the upfront costs of installing charging, the DPU approved a new program through 2032 to address ongoing costs for commercial entities (including municipalities): specifically, demand charges.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

What’s Needed in Rhode Island Energy EV Filing

We have been attending Rhode Island Energy’s (RIE’s) quarterly Power Sector Transformation sessions for a few years to learn about and advise on electrification initiatives in the state. At the most recent session, we learned that Rhode Island plans to submit an Electric Vehicle Program Filing with the PUC this Fall. Given that transportation is the largest source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the state, RIE’s EV programming will be a key piece of Rhode Island’s approach to meeting the emissions reduction mandate of the Act on Climate. Recognizing this important role, we submitted this memoto key stakeholders detailing what we think RIE EV programs must include to result in adequate emissions reductions. Below are our four main points:

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

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.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

The Bolt is Back! (Well, it will be.)

By far one of the most popular cars in the Drive Green program, the Chevy Bolt not only boasts a good electric range (259 miles) but is currently one of the most affordable electric vehicles (EVs) on the market (starting at $26,500 before incentives). This year has seen a ton of changes for the Bolt: first, we heard that the Bolt would be discontinued, but now, GM has announced they’re bringing it back. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Picture of Devan DiLibero Devan DiLibero

Three Big Changes to Massachusetts’ Rebate for Electric Cars

The wait is over! Massachusetts just announced three new changes to the state rebate program for electric cars, MOR-EV, that will make electric vehicles (EVs) more accessible to more people in Massachusetts. All three changes stem from last year’s climate law, which included several provisions to make EV access more equitable in the Commonwealth.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

Rhode Island Update: DRIVE EV & E-Bike Rebate Programs

UPDATE: The DRIVE EV and Erica Niedowski e-bike rebate programs have paused application acceptance until the week of September 18, 2023, due to funding issues.

 

July is a big month for Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification (DRIVE EV) announcements! Last July, Rhode Islanders were thrilled to learnthat the DRIVE EV rebate had been re-instated. This July, we learned that the program is taking a brief pause (as of July 11) before it resumes on August 1, 2023.

Picture of Devan DiLibero Devan DiLibero