Massachusetts Climate Report Card - Transportation Decarbonization

The Transportation sector is currently on track for progress to date. Interventions are needed – including a ramp up in electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure – to drive the rapid decarbonization required between 2025 and 2030.

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The latest data show the transportation sector as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts, at 37 percent.  Light-duty passenger vehicles make up the largest slice of the sector’s emissions, and replacing gas-powered cars with ones that run on electricity is the primary approach to decarbonize in line with 2025 and 2030 transportation CECP limits. Fortunately, light duty passenger electric vehicles (EVs) have become more mainstream over the past decade as the technology, affordability, and accessibility improved. However, shifting from awareness to mass adoption will be essential leading up to 2025, with robust purchase incentives and infrastructure needing to drive sales – particularly for low- and moderate-income residents. Motor vehicle emissions standards like Advanced Clean Cars II, which require vehicle makers to sell EVs as an increasing proportion of their annual sales in Massachusetts, continues to increase EV availability and advance the state towards 100 percent of 2035 light-duty vehicle sales being electric. The CECP anticipated that progress electrifying medium and heavy-duty vehicles would be slow before implementation of the Advanced Clean Truck rule begins in 2024, and this prediction has proven true. Finally, total Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), a key indicator of mode shift, is still significantly below pre-COVID levels, but has increased since 2020 as the economy rebounds. Continued progress building housing near public transportation, improving the performance of the MBTA and regional transit agencies, and investments in multimodal infrastructure and technologies such as e-bikes will be critical to limiting VMT growth. 




Number of registered electric light-duty and medium-/heavy-duty vehicles 

There were 70,689 electric light-duty vehicles on the road in 2022.

There were 69 electric medium-/heavy-duty vehicles on the road in 2022.

CECP modeling projected about 60,000 EVs on the road by 2022. The 2025/2030 CECP states a goal of 200,000 total EVs on the road by 2025 and 900,000 by 2030.

Number of installed electric vehicle public charging ports

There were 6,436 installed electric vehicle public charging ports as of November 29, 2023.

The 2025/2030 CECP estimates the need for 15,000 public charging station ports by 2025 and 75,000 by 2030.

VMT for light-duty and medium-/heavy-duty vehicles 

Light-duty vehicles travelled 55,229 million miles in 2021.

Medium-/heavy-duty vehicles travelled 3,887 million miles in 2021.

CECP modeling projects light-duty VMT to increase to about 57,900 million miles travelled in 2025 and about 59,100 million in 2030 even while per household VMT decreases over the same period.

CECP modeling projects medium-/heavy-duty VMT at about 3,400 million miles travelled in 2025 and about 3,500 million in 2030.


  • High interest rates, supply chain issues and inflation will pose a challenge for deploying EVs and charging infrastructure.
  • Grid capacity already is and will increasingly be a constraint for installing charging infrastructure.
  • While EVs currently have lower operating costs and battery costs are decreasing, leading to potential cost parity with gas-powered cars by mid-decade, EVs are currently more costly to purchase without additional incentives. This poses the greatest barrier for low-income drivers.
  • Approximately one-third of Massachusetts residents do not have off-street parking and face greater barriers to charging.
  • Complex requirements complicate the procurement of electric vehicles and charging equipment for state and municipal fleets.
  • Restoring the reliability and safety of the T and increasing access to public transportation and other options across the state will be important to ensure mode shift.

How we are meeting this moment

  • Massachusetts adopted Advanced Clean Cars II in December 2022, which requires auto manufacturers to ensure new light-duty cars sold in Massachusetts are electric vehicles by 2035. The Advanced Clean Truck Rule will go into effect beginning with model year 2025 vehicles. 

  • The Department of Public Utilities has authorized the Commonwealth’s investor-owned utilities to spend nearly $400 million in ratepayer funds to deploy EV charging infrastructure.  

  • The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently rolled out an upgraded MOR-EV rebate program, including point-of-sale rebates, rebates for qualifying used electric vehicles, and additional rebates for low-income households. As of November 1, 2023, light-duty vehicle rebates almost tripled compared to 2022 and EV adoption is accelerating: as of September, EV registrations increased 30 percent. DOER will be determining whether additional rebate adjustments may make EVs more accessible, particularly to income-restricted drivers.  

  • The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Coordinating Council released an initial set of recommendations for the deployment of charging equipment that will benefit both the grid and low-income consumers, particularly those living in environmental justice communities. These recommendations include establishing additional programs to promote curbside charging, improving charging station reliability, and promoting bidirectional charging. 

  • The MBTA is working to restore safety and reliability, which should increase ridership and enable mode shift away from personal vehicles. 

  • The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities continues to implement the MBTA Communities Law and encourage the construction of housing near public transportation.  

  • DOER has introduced EV-ready wiring requirements to the stretch building energy codes and is working with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards to incorporate similar EV readiness requirements into the 10th edition building code. 

  • OCIR is working with EEA, DOER, DCAMM and OVM to address challenges with the procurement process for state and municipal fleets.  


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