April 10, 2018

BOSTON – Today at the Massachusetts State House, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues, Representatives Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown), Solomon Goldstein-Rose (I-Amherst) and Jack Lewis (D-Framingham), to host an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive. The day began with a morning briefing, which highlighted the benefits of electric vehicles, showcased the enormous advancements made in electric vehicle technology over recent years, and addressed the future of electric vehicles in the Commonwealth.

The briefing brought in a diverse set of speakers, including Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Alli Gold Roberts, State Policy Director at Ceres; Basim Motiwala, Government Relations at Honda; and Karsten Barde, New Customer Offerings at National Grid.

After the briefing, legislators, State House staff and media were invited to test drive a host of electric vehicles, including a BMWi3, a Nissan Leaf, a Chevy Bolt, a Mini-Cooper Plug-In, a Hyundai Ioniq, a Tesla Model X, and a hydrogen fuel cell Honda Clarity.

“Transportation represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts,” said Representative Joan Meschino. “Promoting the continued transition to electric vehicles is one of the most critical steps we can take locally to lower our dirty emissions and to address climate change and sea level rise.”

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said, “Through Governor Baker’s Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth, our statewide listening session tour, and regional discussions on this issue, we are working to develop further strategies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and protect future generations from the impacts of climate change.”

“We support our customers in going electric, and we’ve proposed a range of new products and programs across our service territories to help increase awareness, affordability, and accessibility of EVs and EV charging for all our customers,” said Karsten Barde, Manager of New Customer Offerings at National Grid.

Legislators spoke not only to electric vehicle technology, but also to state policy and programs that support the transition to EVs, such as the Mass Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, which helps businesses, cities, towns and agencies install charging stations, and MOR-EV (Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles), which offers consumers a rebate for purchasing or leasing an EV.