Press Release

Press Release Massachusetts Joins Nine-State Coalition in Releasing New Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan

Renewed Multi-State Effort to Speed the Nation’s Transition to Zero Tailpipe Emission Cars, Builds on Earlier Action Plan and Statewide Progress
For immediate release:
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Media Contact for Massachusetts Joins Nine-State Coalition in Releasing New Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan

Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs

BOSTON The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Massachusetts has joined eight other Northeast and West Coast states in reaffirming a strong commitment to a clean, low-carbon transportation sector with the release of a new Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan for 2018-2021. The Action Plan, which builds on the successes and lessons learned from implementation of an earlier 2014 ZEV Action Plan, presents 80 market-enabling action recommendations for states, automakers, dealers, utilities, charging and fueling companies and other key partners to rapidly accelerate consumer adoption of zero emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 

“Massachusetts is committed to reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, and through the Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan we look forward to continuing our collaborative work with other states and diverse stakeholders to get more electric vehicles on the road,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “This Action Plan will build on successful vehicle emission initiatives already in place in the Commonwealth, and when combined with other significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gases like the single largest procurement of offshore wind in the country, will help ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in energy efficiency.”

Under the Baker-Polito Administration, the Commonwealth offers a number of programs, and has undertaken initiatives, to increase ZEV demand. Those include:

  • In November 2017, the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) held four public listening sessions for stakeholders from across the state to identify regional policies to reduce emissions, develop a comprehensive regional strategy for the deployment of electric vehicles, and discuss strategies to increase the resilience of transportation infrastructure.
  • Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, requires the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to work together on strategies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.
  • Governor Charlie Baker established the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth to advise the Baker-Polito Administration on future transportation needs and challenges, including on climate and resiliency issues.
  • Through the MOR-EV Program, Massachusetts offers rebates of up to $2,500 to residents who purchase or lease electric vehicles.
  • Massachusetts began the first state-sponsored electric vehicle test drive campaign and has so far held more than 20 test drive events across the state to raise awareness and demand for electric vehicles.

“Adopting clean technology and promoting additional zero emission vehicles is a critical piece of meeting the Commonwealth’s emissions reductions goals and combating climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this new Action Plan, the Baker-Polito Administration is committed to continuing our strong partnerships with other states, automakers, dealerships, utilities, employers and environmental organizations to secure a cleaner, healthier environment for all through the integration of fuel-efficient and zero emission vehicles.”

“Massachusetts has made significant gains in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remains committed to making additional progress in reducing emissions resulting from transportation activities,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Massachusetts has already taken steps aimed at reducing emissions by supporting low and zero carbon  modes of transportation, installing electric vehicle charging stations on highways, building multi-modal projects to provide more bike and pedestrian travel options, incorporating electric vehicles into the state fleet, and improving the reliability and resiliency of transit. Still, the Commonwealth will need partners in order to make greater headway with the national and global problem that is climate change. MassDOT looks forward to the Commonwealth's partnership with eight other states in order to gather and implement the best strategies for meeting our aggressive transportation sector emissions reduction goals.”

“Getting more electric vehicles into the hands of automobile consumers is a top priority for the Commonwealth as the transportation sector is the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in states across the country,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “Achieving rapid increases in the number of ZEVs on our roads is one of the most effective things we can do to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change.”

Release of the new Action Plan follows the 2017 expiration of the “travel provision” in the state ZEV regulations, which allowed automakers to get compliance credit in the Northeast ZEV states and Oregon for ZEVs placed in California. Automakers are now required to deliver ZEVs to meet specific sales goals in the Northeast ZEV states and Oregon for the first time.

Background: The ZEV MOU and 2014 ZEV Action Plan

The updated ZEV Action Plan is the work of the Multi-State ZEV Task Force, which was formed in 2013 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governors of California and seven other states that have adopted California’s ZEV program – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. New Jersey became the ninth ZEV state to join the coalition, and together, the nine ZEV MOU states represent roughly one-third of the new car sales market in the United States.

The transportation sector is now the largest single source of GHG emissions across the nation, and in the Task Force states, light duty vehicles alone contribute almost 25 percent of total emissions. Transportation electrification is essential to deliver the deep reductions in emissions that are needed to meet state climate goals. The state ZEV programs, which require automakers to deliver increasing numbers of zero emission vehicles between now and 2025, are a key strategy in state climate plans, such as the Global Warming Solutions Act in Massachusetts.

To support successful implementation of the ZEV programs, the MOU states committed to the collaborative development and implementation of the first 2014 Multi-State ZEV Action Plan.


Many of the 2014 Action Plan recommendations have been successfully implemented or are under way. To date, Task Force states have:

  • Enacted ZEV purchase and infrastructure incentive programs;
  • Launched a first-ever jointly funded state/industry brand-neutral consumer outreach and education campaign;
  • Established a state/dealership workgroup to foster collaboration with dealers; 
  • Opened public utility commission proceedings to consider utility and other transportation electrification programs; and
  • Partnered with automakers on a “Collaboration for ZEV Success” to accelerate ZEV adoption.

A New Market Phase

The ZEV market is entering a new phase of development. In the four years since the release of the first ZEV Action Plan, ZEV sales have grown from 200,000 cars on the road to more than 800,000 cars today. Market changes and technology developments have laid a strong foundation for rapid growth of the emerging electric vehicle market. Battery costs are continuing to decline and the electric range of lower-cost battery electric vehicles is three times what it was in 2014.  Consumers can now choose from more than 30 different plug-in and fuel cell models, and all the major automakers have announced plans to significantly expand electric vehicle offerings across multiple market segments in the next several years.

Key Action Plan Recommendations

While many of the recommendations in the 2014 Action Plan remain valid today, the new Action Plan represents a redoubling of state efforts to accelerate electrification of the light-duty vehicle market, and recognition of the important role that public-private partnerships involving the automakers, dealers, utilities and others play in the effort. Recommendations for states and other key partners in the updated Action Plan are focused on five priority areas:

  • Raising consumer awareness and interest in electric vehicle technology;
  • Building out a reliable and convenient residential, workplace and charging/fueling infrastructure network;
  • Continuing and improving access to consumer purchase and non-financial incentives;
  • Expanding public and private sector fleet adoption; and
  • Supporting dealership efforts to increase ZEV sales.

Key recommendations in the five priority areas include:

Consumer Outreach

  • Expanding investment by states, automakers, dealers, utilities and others in brand-neutral consumer outreach and education initiatives, such as Drive Change. Drive Electric., the recently launched jointly funded state/industry consumer outreach campaign; and
  • Increasing automaker and dealer investment in brand-specific advertising and marketing activities.

Deployment of Infrastructure

  • Opening public utility commission proceedings to consider effective utility deployment of charging infrastructure and beneficial electricity rate design;
  • Expanding utility investment in charging infrastructure at multi-unit dwellings, workplaces and other underserved markets;
  • Establishing high-level recognition programs for business leaders that commit to investments in workplace charging;
  • Promoting public and private investment in charging infrastructure at airports, train stations, transit hubs, in metropolitan areas, along travel corridors and at destination locations;
  • Establishing a multi-state hydrogen fuel cell workgroup to support the initial launch of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles beyond California; and
  • Ensuring that consumers have open access to charging stations without restriction based on charging network membership or subscription.

Consumer Incentives

  • Collaboration among the states and key partners to ensure continuation of the federal income tax credit for ZEV purchases and leases;
  • Consideration of new state incentive and outreach programs to improve access to incentives by low- and moderate-income consumers, such as expanding incentives for used ZEVs; and
  • Incorporation of incentive programs to promote ZEV adoption and commuting into private sector employee benefit programs.

Fleet Electrification

  • Offering financial incentives to state and local government fleets for acquisition of ZEVs and charging/fueling infrastructure;
  • Setting state fleet electrification goals, establishing procurement policies, and providing public and private fleet managers with access to analytical tools and data to support fleet electrification; and
  • Increasing outreach to fleet managers to raise awareness of the benefits of adding ZEVs to fleets.


  • Identifying and adopting best practices to overcome the unique challenges of selling electric vehicle technology that is new to most consumers; and
  • Establishing recognition programs to showcase leading ZEV dealerships.


Media Contact for Massachusetts Joins Nine-State Coalition in Releasing New Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.