On Tuesday at the State House, Representative Jonathan Hecht joined his colleagues, Representatives Smitty Pignatelli, Joan Meschino, Solomon Goldstein-Rose and Jack Lewis to host an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive, Hecht’s office announced in a press release.
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. Attendees also learned about Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles, which are expected to hit the Northeast car markets soon.
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.
“Widespread adoption of electric vehicles is a big opportunity for addressing climate change,” said Representative Hecht (D-Watertown). “Many EV makes and models have already hit the market and more are on the way. Drivers across the Commonwealth will soon be able to find EVs that fit their lifestyles, save them money, and are great for the environment.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting the transition to cleaner, more efficient vehicles for Massachusetts residents, and is proud to partner with the legislature on this event to showcase the benefits of electric vehicles, as well as the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle incentive programs and first-in- the-nation state-sponsored test drive events,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “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.”
Karsten Barde, Manager of New Customer Offerings at National Grid, also weighed in: “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.”
The day-long event highlighted not only electric vehicle technology, but also state policies 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.