State Support for Electric Vehicles Gets The Green Light- But The Work’s Not Done

Shanna Cleveland

Tomorrow, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, will announce new state support for electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them.  This is great news for the environment and the economy.

Electric vehicles are a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants from the transportation sector.  These benefits are multiplied when electric cars are powered by clean renewable energy such as wind and solar.  In fact, electric cars are especially compatible with wind power which is often at its height when electric cars are charging at night.  Although these benefits are dampened in parts of the country where coal-fired power provides the majority of electricity, electric cars are still an improvement over the status quo.   So purging the system of old coal-fired power plants will maximize the positive impacts of these vehicles.

In addition, electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf will need charging stations, batteries, and maintenance—all of which will create solid, new green collar jobs.  One of the fastest growing electric car battery manufacturers started right here in Massachusetts, and with programs like the one at UMass Lowell (which is hosting the summit) and other leading educational institutions in Massachusetts, this sector will continue to grow and provide revenues and jobs for years to come.  This announcement is yet another sign of Massachusetts’ commitment to fight climate change by embracing innovative solutions.  It follows on the heels of, and will support the agreement entered into between Massachusetts and Nissan earlier this year.

Electric vehicles are one of the significant types of technologies that would benefit from the adoption of a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that is being developed by eleven Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and would create a robust market for transportation fuels that are cleaner than petroleum.  Of course, electric cars are only one piece of the puzzle.  Increasing public transit, supporting smart growth, and reducing vehicle miles traveled are also essential to cutting the climate change impacts from transporation which is currently the fastest growing sector for greenhouse gas emissions.

Check out the work that CLF is doing to promote a regional low carbon fuel standard and increased public transit, and take action to support transportation solutions for the entire region.

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