- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for State Officials Announce Continued Partnership to Promote Electric Vehicles
Boston — State energy and environment officials today announced the award of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist in further collaboration between the Commonwealth and Plug In America to accelerate the deployment of electric, plug-in electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, collectively referred to as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), in the Massachusetts. DOE selected Plug in America and Clean Cities programs in Massachusetts, as well as in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, to provide funding for continued public, workplace and fleet events over the next two years. Massachusetts currently offers rebates to customers purchasing electric vehicles through the MOR-EV program. The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced $12 million in additional funding for MOR-EV, representing more than double the rebate funding over the lifetime of the program.
“The innovative test drive initiative funded by the program is proven to help shape consumer perceptions of driving electric and how easy it is to make the switch away from petroleum to make our environment cleaner,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The continuation of Mass Drive Clean federal funding will leverage our successful experience in the Commonwealth with that of our fellow New England states towards a collaborative effort to promote the positive impacts of zero emissions vehicles.”
Mass Drive Clean is a highly successful pilot program funded through a DOE grant in 2015 that resulted in over 650 drivers and passengers test driving one or more electric vehicles at employer sponsored and public events. The program was continued this year with over 1000 test drives to date. The drives are a way for interested drivers to get behind the wheel of multiple makes and models of these clean vehicles. Each driver is surveyed before and after driving, with 83% saying that their overall opinion of a ZEV is better than before their test drive and 68% said that were more likely to purchase one now that they had experienced the performance of the cars. Plug In America has shown in California that about 10% of ride and drive participants will purchase a ZEV within six months. Surveys to Massachusetts test drivers are being sent about 6 months after their drive to document results here.
“Mass Drives Clean proves that by giving consumers the firsthand experience of operating an electric, they are much more likely to purchase a vehicle and help take a traditional vehicle off the road,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The increased adoption of electric vehicles is a vital component of Massachusetts reducing emissions to meet our targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act
Automotive dealership training and recognition is another component of the DOE program and will be rolled out first in Massachusetts under this grant. This project is one of only three ZEV showcase projects funded by the U.S. DOE around the country, one in the mid-west and one in the northwest.
Plug In America is the leading national consumer voice promoting the use of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States to consumers, policymakers, auto manufacturers and others. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience of driving and living with plug-in vehicles. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. www.pluginamerica.org.