Patrick-Murray Administration Awards Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to 25 Cities and Towns
Event at Lexington Battle Green marks new milestone in Commonwealth's clean energy revolution; public-private partnership supplies 94 charging stations for communities from Cape Cod to the Berkshires
LEXINGTON - Friday, July 22, 2011 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's nation-leading commitment to clean energy, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today took the Commonwealth's clean energy revolution to Lexington's Battle Green to announce the award of 94 electric vehicle charging stations for 25 cities and towns across the state.
"Placing these state-of-the-art charging stations in cities and towns across Massachusetts supports the Administration's clean energy agenda - augmenting our nation-leading efforts in the areas of green jobs, Green Communities, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Our Administration is pleased to partner with the Obama Administration and Coulomb Technologies on this initiative, and we look forward to seeing this innovative resource support municipalities as they embrace new clean transportation options."
The following communities are receiving charging stations, which will be sited on downtown streets, parking garages, shopping malls, schools and colleges, and commercial, medical and industrial parks: Athol, Barnstable, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Falmouth, Greenfield, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lowell, Nantucket, New Bedford, New Salem, Newton, Northampton, Orange, Salem, Tyngsboro, and Worcester.
The Commonwealth will also be installing additional charging stations, separate from these municipal installations, at Logan Airport garages, Logan Express parking lots and at MBTA commuter parking locations, bringing the statewide total of new charging stations to 142.
"Investing in vehicle charging stations is an important first step in moving toward a mass market in electric vehicles that will help reduce harmful emissions while fostering the development of green technologies," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. "I am pleased to see that Governor Deval Patrick is putting in place the infrastructure needed to make electric cars a viable option here in Massachusetts."
EEA's Department of Energy Resources (DOER) invited cities and towns to apply for electric vehicle charging equipment grants, funded with approximately $384,000 made available through a settlement obtained by Attorney General Martha Coakley's office in 2007 for alleged pollution control equipment violations by an Ohio-based power plant. That funding was subsequently augmented through a public-private partnership with Coulomb Technologies of California, which received a U.S. Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant to provide installation of electric charging equipment and re-granted awards in the form of charging stations to Massachusetts cities and towns. ARRA funding devoted to this initiative, through Coulomb's ChargePoint America program, totals $500,000.
""Electric vehicle technology is a significant way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand our clean energy economy," said Secretary Sullivan. "Our communities have come forward in partnership with local business, colleges and employers to find highly visible, well-utilized locations where owners of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles can charge their vehicles. Through these public-private partnerships, we are ensuring that 'green' transportation options will be a reality in cities and towns throughout the state."
The program announced today will create jobs for Massachusetts electricians, and is an important step in helping communities, residents and business across the state transition to cleaner driving as Massachusetts prepares for the entry of new electric vehicle models to the Massachusetts market as early as this year.
By reducing Massachusetts' reliance on petroleum-based transportation, the additional electric vehicle infrastructure announced today supports the goals of several recently-passed state laws - including the Green Communities Act, Green Jobs Act, and the Global Warming Solutions Act, under which the Patrick-Murray Administration last December set a target to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and adopted the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 setting out a suite of programs and policies to achieve that target.
"With transportation responsible for 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts, it is prudent for the Commonwealth to take a multi-faceted approach to improving the way we drive and the vehicles that we buy - including investments to expand the use of electric vehicles," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
"Electric cars or electric hybrid cars are becoming more mainstream, and by providing these charging stations in convenient locations more drivers will be encouraged to opt for electric vehicles," said Representative John Keenan, chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. "I am grateful to the Patrick-Murray Administration and to Secretary Sullivan for these grants that will help us move closer to our renewable energy goals."
"Massachusetts is a national leader in clean energy policy," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing, chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. "Investing in electric vehicle charging stations will help us turn that policy into real change on the ground in our communities, giving our residents the opportunity to be less dependent on foreign fossil fuels."
"I am very pleased to see Lexington continue on the path towards cleaner, more renewable sources of energy for our transportation needs," said Representative Jay Kaufman. "Electrically-powered automobiles are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace and the Patrick-Murray Administration's plan to provide 25 communities with this equipment will only help to grow widespread consumer support for these 'green' initiatives."
Today's announcement is the latest in a continuum of steps Massachusetts is taking to ensure its place as a national leader in electric vehicle technology, which produces zero emissions at the tailpipe. Other steps include a partnership between DOER and Nissan North America, Inc., through which DOER and the auto maker are working together to examine roadblocks to and opportunities for promoting the use of electric vehicles in Massachusetts in advance of sales here of Nissan's all-electric LEAF. EEA is also in discussions with other electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle manufacturers regarding pilot testing pre-commercial vehicles, including trucks and small vans and all-electric concept cars.
"The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have recognized the chicken-and-egg dilemma - that if individuals are to be comfortable purchasing electric vehicles, they must also be assured that there are available charging stations for these vehicles," said Hank Manz, chairman of the Lexington Board of Selectmen. "Lexington, with the thousands of high-tech employees who work in our business parks and the significant number of tourists who visit our historic sites year-round, is a natural location for electric vehicle charging stations. We are thrilled to partner with the state on this important initiative and look forward to being a leader in the next revolution to energy sustainability."