Massachusetts government announced an extension of the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through at least June 30, 2019.
The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) made a $12 million commitment to the program in 2016, which brought the total funding amount to $20 million, and has since provided an additional $3 million to respond to the increased demand for the program.
“The MOR-EV program has played an important role in increasing the adoption of electric vehicles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we work to combat climate change, our administration is committed to supporting electric vehicle adoption and identifying new initiatives to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.”
Starting on January 1, 2019, MOR-EV will be extended and shift its focus to meet the demands of the industry by supporting only qualifying battery electric vehicles up to a $50,000 sales price with a $1,500 rebate. Current rebate levels and qualifications will continue through December 31, 2018 and consumers must submit a complete MOR-EV rebate application within three months of the vehicle purchase.
Since its inception in 2014, MOR-EV has issued or reserved over $23 million in rebates for over 11,000 cars and has reduced the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 35,000 metric tons annually. The program saw steady growth in its first three years, doubling from approximately $250,000 in rebate applications in June of 2014 to approximately $500,000 in June of 2017. Through June of 2018, the rebate application amounts doubled again to approximately $1 million a month and from June 2018 through September 2018, the program doubled once more to nearly $2 million a month.
In addition to the MOR-EV program, the Commonwealth has pursued a number of additional transportation programs and policies to accelerate the adoption of fuel efficient vehicles. The Commonwealth has adopted a fuel efficiency standard for the purchase of new state-owned vehicles, which requires a minimum fuel efficiency on newly purchased state vehicles. As part of DOER’s Green Communities program application process, cities and towns must pledge to only purchase fuel-efficient vehicles. In January 2018, Governor Baker created the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth to advise the administration on future transportation needs and challenges, including deployment of zero emission vehicles and increasing the resilience of transportation infrastructure as the climate changes.
Massachusetts also plans to spend up to $5 million in the first phase of its Volkswagen settlement funding on the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to supplement the network of existing EVSE. This project will also complement National Grid and Eversource’ s EVSE charging programs approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Additionally, the new state program MassEVolves will encourage and recognize private sector investments in transportation electrification through electric vehicle awareness campaigns and electric vehicle charging programs. Combined, these initiatives will make it easier to use electric vehicles and result in a transition to cleaner air and a stronger economy.
MOR-EV is administered on DOER’s behalf by the Center for Sustainable Energy. The funding is financed by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceeds and aims to help reduce reliance on foreign oil and meet Massachusetts’ goals under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector 7.6 percent by 2020