Massachusetts Legislation Would Add Perks For Electric Vehicle Owners

A bill in the Massachusetts legislator would expand access to HOV lanes to all electric car drivers, create designated parking spaces for EVs and allow cars parked illegally to be towed. As written, it applies only to battery electric cars.

Electric car charger

Massachusetts offers a $2,500 rebate for new buyers of electric vehicles which could get even better. The Joint Committee on Transportation is working on a bill that would allow EV drivers to use the highway occupancy vehicles lanes on all state highways. In addition, it would increase access to charging stations in the state, and require information about charging power and compatibility of each station to be posted online.

Rep. Frank Smizik, who chairs the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, tells the measure is necessary to curtail carbon emissions in the state. He notes that the transportation sector is responsible for nearly 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. Private vehicles are responsible for the majority of those emissions.

“Electric vehicles have made enormous technological advancements over the past decade, and can now compete economically and functionally with traditional motor vehicles,” said Smizik. “Many in the legislature, including myself, recognize this and believe we can consider EVs in our emissions reductions strategy.”

“With decreased gas prices, a 10 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled over the last 20 years, and a carpool rate below the national average, we must address personal vehicle use directly as part of our transportation emissions reduction strategy,” said Rep. Smizik.

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