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Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill Turbocharges the Adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and Clean Transportation

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Based on numerous sources, Governor Baker has now signed an Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind.  This bill includes a number of key advancements for increased adoption of zero emission vehicles and clean transportation throughout the Commonwealth.  The law:

  1. Outlaws the sale of internal combustion vehicles by any dealership after January 1, 2035 by making it an unfair or deceptive act or practice under Chapter 93A;
  2. Increases the ZEV rebate from $2,500 to $3,500-$5,000 for passenger and light duty trucks;
    • Provides an additional $1,500 rebate for low-income individuals;
  3. Requires MassDOT and MBTA to make provisions for installing and maintaining in good working order electric vehicle charging stations for public use at: (i) all service plazas located on the Massachusetts Turnpike; (ii) parking lots of at least 5 commuter rail stations; (iii) parking lots of at least 5 subway stations; and (iv) a parking lot of at least 1 ferry terminal;
  4. Requires MBTA to purchase/lease all zero-emission passenger buses not later than December 31, 2030;
    • Requires the entire MBTA bus fleet by zero emissions by December 31, 2040;
  5. Requires MassDOT to develop and issue recommendations for a comprehensive program of incentives to develop and maintain buses and other ZEV vehicles within 6 months;
  6. Requires MassDOT to establish an anonymized and aggregated database of motor vehicle fuel types (fossil fuel, hybrid or electric) sortable by municipalities;
  7. Creates requirements for EV charging in state building and electrical codes for residential and commercial properties;
  8. Creates an intergovernmental coordinating council to implement an electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment plan;
  9. Requires Electric Distribution Companies to submit proposal to the DPU to offer rate credits or rebates to consumers that charge EVs during off-peak hours,
    • The rebate or credit amount shall include the value of: (i) avoided energy and capacity costs; (ii) avoided transmission costs; (iii) avoided distribution costs; (iv) improved grid reliability; (v) capacity benefits in the form of demand-induced price reduction effects; (vi) avoided greenhouse gas emissions; and (vii) public health benefits. The Department shall approve the rebates not later than June 30, 2023; and
  10. Requires Electric Distribution Companies to submit proposal to the DPU for time-of-use rates, but these rates cannot include additional demand charges;
    • In evaluating proposals for approval, the department shall consider the effect of the proposal on: (i) energy conservation; (ii) optimal and efficient use of a distribution company’s facilities and resources; (iii) benefits to transmission and distribution systems; (iv) equitable rates for electric consumers; and (v) greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The proposals shall ensure equitable participation by all electric vehicle owners and lessees. Not later than October 31, 2025 the department shall issue at least 1 order that responds to distribution.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there were 30,470 EVs registered in the Commonwealth as of December 31, 2021.  This represents less than 1% of the total number of registered vehicles in Massachusetts, and is a far cry from the goal of 300,000 ZEVs registered in the state by 2025.  This law should go a long way in increasing the percentage of ZEVs and helping the Commonwealth achieve its clean transportation goals.  Stay tuned for Foley Hoag’s continuing zero emission transportation series.

The post Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill Turbocharges the Adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and Clean Transportation first appeared on Energy & Climate Counsel.

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