For Immediate Release - April 24, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Unveils New Electric Vehicle License Plates

BOSTON – April 24, 2012 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey to announce the unveiling of a new Massachusetts license plate for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Massachusetts is the first state in the continental United States and the second in the nation, behind Hawaii, to offer the plate to drivers. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) worked with EEA to design a unique license plate that would help emergency responders who are first on site after a car accident identify the cars, which require the use of special safety techniques.

“As part of our statewide clean energy strategy, we’re building an electric vehicle infrastructure here in Massachusetts because alternative fuel vehicles cut greenhouse gasses and build on clean energy investments we’re making in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said EEA Secretary Sullivan.

“Public safety officials are studying how to immobilize and power down electric and hybrid vehicles, how to approach an EV fire and also learning new extrication procedures,” said MassDOT Secretary Davey. “But before firefighters and first responders can utilize this training, they must be able to recognize the vehicle as an EV vehicle. The availability of this plate helps assure quick identification.”

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER), through the Clean Cities Coalition, has been at work with communities to create an infrastructure for expansion of electric. Charging stations are cropping up throughout the state, with 60 percent of 142 federal and penalty-funded stations already installed in 25 cities and towns.

Massachusetts drivers with any one of 30 vehicles considered by the RMV to be electrics or hybrids may swap their existing plate to the new EV plate. The plates are now available at Registry branches across the Commonwealth. The standard plate swap fee of $20 does apply.

“With the MBTA already a user of hybrid electrical vehicles; the adoption of these new electric vehicle plates will not only identify the vehicles to emergency responders, but also, demonstrate MassDOT’s contribution to a better environment,” said Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis.  

“From bumper strips to specialty license plates, Massachusetts drivers are passionate about many causes. This new plate not only identifies the driver as environmentally friendly it also alerts public safety officials that they may need to disable the vehicle displaying the EV plate differently in the event of an accident,” said RMV Registrar Rachel Kaprielian.

“Thanks to Governor Patrick's national leadership on clean energy investments and his commitment to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction goals we are advancing new alternative fuel technologies and implementing innovative programs that cut energy use and stabilize energy costs," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.