Mayor Menino Unveils the City's First On-Street Electric Car Charging Stations

City launches EVboston program to make electric vehicles an accessible option for all residents and visitors. Mayor Thomas M. Menino today unveiled the City of Boston's first on-street charging stations for electric vehicles.  The Mayor also announced the launch of EVboston, a new City program through Complete Streets initiative, designed to promote the use and accessibility of electric vehicles in Boston.
Three parking spaces on Cambridge Street in front of City Hall Plaza have been outfitted with charging stations and have been set aside for the exclusive use of electric car owners who need to recharge vehicle batteries.  The project is a year-long pilot to study the use and durability of the charging units and to inform future implementation plans for electric vehicle stations around the city.

"Boston is a world-class city and one of the most forward-thinking "green" cities in the country," Mayor Menino said.  "As part of our Complete Streets mission and our commitment to sustainability, we want to make sure Boston is outfitted with the equipment electric vehicles require to operate safely and conveniently.  EVboston demonstrates that the City is looking ahead to accommodate all modes of transportation and to welcome electric vehicles to Boston."

Through the EVboston initiative, the City of Boston is preparing for the growth of the electric vehicle market in the region.  According to industry experts, nine major automakers have committed to producing a total of twelve mass-market electric vehicles over the next three years.  Cities around the U.S. are installing charging stations to accommodate the expected influx of electric cars.

"This partnership with the City of Boston is extremely important to the future of smart grid and electric vehicle technology for our customers," said Joe Nolan, NSTAR Senior Vice President of Customer & Corporate Relations.  "By collecting information from this pilot program, we can learn more about how EV charging stations interact with our electric system to help guide our decision making going forward.  NSTAR is prepared for the future of electric vehicles and we look forward to having more consumers transition to EV's to help reduce CO2 emissions and reliance on fossil fuels."

In addition to the charging-stations pilot, the Boston Transportation Department's EVboston program includes:

  • An information vendor fair and forum for local parking managers and garage owners interested in purchasing a charging station, which was held last week.
  • The convening an "EVboston Consortium" of experts in the industry, equipment and vehicle manufacturers, parking facility owners and interested residents and institutions to advise the City.
  • A Request for Interest to be released in fall 2011 to solicit proposals from industry professionals for the eventual adoption of a citywide plan to accommodate electric vehicles and charging stations.
  • The City is currently participating in the Toyota Corporation's "Plug-In" Fleet Demonstration Program.  Along with other cities and towns throughout the country, Boston is testing a Toyota Plug-In Prius free of charge to evaluate for future use within the City's fleet.
  • The City is participating in a Northeast Regional Electric Vehicle (NEREV) partnership with New York City and Philadelphia.  
  • BTD will host a free screening of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" held on the evening of June 2 at 8 p.m. on Boston Common. (Rain date of June 7).

The installation of the charging stations is part of the Boston Transportation Department's Complete Streets initiative, a multi-project effort with the goal of accommodating all modes of travel on Boston's roadways, designing green, environmentally friendly streets and using new 'smart' technologies to improve mobility.

"In the past year in Boston, we have implemented motorcycle and scooter parking stalls in the Back Bay, and we have upgraded our parking meters to provide more Boston drivers with the option of paying with credit and debit cards," said Boston Transportation Commissioner Thomas J. Tinlin. "Ensuring that all the tools are in place for the operation of electric vehicles on our local streets is another step toward the City's Complete Streets goal and is further testament to the City of Boston's commitment to utilizing new, available technology."  

At the national level, the White House has outlined a wide-ranging plan of putting one million of what it calls advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015.  Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a federal tax credit is available for up to 30 percent of the purchase and installation costs of qualified electric vehicle charging infrastructure acquired in 2011, with a maximum credit of $1,000 for individuals and $30,000 for businesses.

Last month, Mayor Menino released A Climate of Progress, the City of Boston's climate action plan update.  A Climate of Progress incorporates the recommendations that the Mayor's Climate Action Leadership Committee delivered last year, including one for an electric vehicle pilot program.

"Boston is leading the way on sustainable transportation and climate action under Mayor Menino's leadership," said Jim Hunt, Boston's Chief of Environment and Energy.  "With zero tailpipe emissions and energy costs at less than half the cost of gasoline, EVs are a smart solution for a 21st Century Green Boston."
City of Boston
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