Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.4 Million in Funding For Clean Transportation Projects
The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $1.4 million in funding to support nine clean transportation demonstration projects. The funding, which comes from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Accelerating Clean Transportation Now (ACTNow) program, will support clean transportation initiatives that help reduce the cost and advance the market for low carbon transportation technologies across the Commonwealth.
“As our nation faces the challenges of climate change, it is essential that we make deep and lasting reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions, and innovative clean transportation solutions will be critical toward meeting our long-term climate goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The projects supported by this funding will pioneer new technologies and demonstrate new emissions reduction strategies, bringing us close to our ambitious target of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050.”
“Proving financial and technical feasibility of groundbreaking technologies is essential to driving the wide-spread adoption of clean transportation solutions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Beyond the benefits these projects offer, they will set the path for more innovation in the clean transportation sector and reduce costs, providing residents across the Commonwealth greater access to transportation solutions such as public transit and electric vehicles.”
The ACTNow Program provides grants to applicant teams that pilot innovative, replicable clean transportation business and service delivery models. ACTNow prompts a variety of low carbon transportation solutions across different modalities, vehicle types, and populations. Given the Commonwealth’s renewed focus and efforts around reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is imperative that we encourage disruptive innovation in business models, infrastructure, and awareness that lead Massachusetts into a clean and modern transportation future. MassCEC is looking to support the transportation sector in a way that results in market driven compliance with state’s Net Zero by 2050 GHG goal. MassCEC is poised to identify replicable pathways that will increase technology adoption and alter traditional transportation use cases. These pathways will include innovative solutions to existing challenges that are barriers to meeting state GHG goals in an equitable and financially feasible manner.
Six of the nine projects awarded will bring positive clean transportation impacts to environmental justice (“EJ”) communities. ACTNow purposefully incentivised EJ community applications through a reduced cost-share requirement. Massachusetts EJ communities are designated based on criteria for annual median household income, race, and English isolation.
“As the Commonwealth works to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, it is crucial to invest in initiatives that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also ensuring solutions are economically viable for businesses and residents,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The ACTNow program finds this balance with projects that emphasise financial feasibility and emissions reductions in order to model large-scale clean transportation projects that offer solutions to communities throughout Massachusetts.”
“MassCEC is excited to enter into the clean transportation sector by funding a range of innovative projects that span across technologies from electric buses to dealership education,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “In addition to supporting the Commonwealth’s ambitious clean energy goals, ACTNow’s demonstration projects will also reduce emissions and provide access to clean transportation in overburdened communities.”
The grants collectively leverage $2,329,679 in external cost share funding as well as an additional $156,430,750 from a large-scale MBTA electric bus initiative. Demonstration projects will be deployed in areas such as Arlington, Beverly, Hopkinton, Roxbury, Quincy, and Andover.
The following awardees will each receive a grant through the ACTNow program.
Waze (Google LLC) - $50,000: The company is deploying a carpooling pilot project in the Boston Metro region with an app-based service that matches everyday drivers and riders with similar commuting patterns. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
Enel Green Power North America - $37,000: The company is implementing an emissions-based carpooling facilitation program for Enel employees at their Boston and Andover offices in partnership with Liftango.
E4 The Future - $200,000: The company is deploying an income-tired and equity-focused electric vehicle carshare program in Roxbury. E4 The Future is partnering with Shared Mobility, Inc., Nuestra Comunidad CDC, MAPC, Eversource, and the City of Boston. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
Plug In America - $161,970: The company is implementing its Plugstar Training and Credentialing Program and EV Sales Platform to at least 16 dealerships across Massachusetts in order to accelerate Commonwealth EV sales.
PowerOptions - $200,000: The company is deploying a retrofitted electric school bus with a financial leasing model to be replicated for PowerOptions’ membership base. PowerOptions is partnering with AMPLY Power Inc. and the Town of Arlington. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
Highland Electric Transportation - $176,045: The company is deploying an electric school bus with a 3rd party ownership model to explore the viability of a regional model for group procurement of electric buses. Highland Electric is partnering with the Beverly Public School District and MAPC. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
Enel X North America - $200,000: The company is deploying a vehicle-to-grid demonstration project and financing model with two electric school buses in partnership with Hopkinton Public Schools.
Enel X North America - $200,000: The company is developing a fleet electrification planning tool in partnership with the MBTA through the deployment of 120 electric buses in Quincy. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
Zoo New England - $174,985: The company is converting a new vehicle to a hybrid electric shuttle bus in order to provide clean transportation in the form of a free roundtrip service from Forest hills MBTA station to the Franklin Park Zoo. Zoo New England is partnering with PowerOptions and XL Fleets. This project meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria.
This funding builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy innovation sector, including recent initiatives announced in medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle technologies. In July, Massachusetts signed a 15-state Memorandum of Understanding that aims to have100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2050 with a target of 30% zero-emissions vehicle sales by 2030. These efforts and MassCEC’s work to identify successful deployment models, will be crucial to meeting the Commonwealth’s goals seeing as transportation contributed to >41% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth in 2017. As the clean transportation sector is entering a stage of major innovation and technology transformation, Massachusetts can encourage the most efficient, clean, and equitable paths forward focusing on education and innovative business/financing models.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.
For more information go to MassCEC.com