Majority Leader Creem files Bills to Hasten the Commonwealth's Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles

January 13, 2021   Press Release

BOSTON (January 12, 2022) — Today Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, filed five bills that will hasten the Commonwealth’s transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), while also ensuring that the transition happens in an equitable and environmentally just manner.

The bills will incentivize the purchase of ZEVs, encourage the early retirement of high-emission vehicles through a Cash for Combustors program, require companies like Uber and Lyft to rapidly accelerate their adoption of ZEVs, assist school districts in switching to zero-emission buses, increase access to charging for condominium owners, and promote the recovery and recycling of electric vehicle batteries.

“We cannot achieve our climate change goals without addressing the transportation sector, which is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts,” said Majority Leader Creem (D-Newton). “The five bills I filed today will put us on track to have one million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030, and they will help ensure that every community in the Commonwealth enjoys the health and environmental benefits of the transition to clean transportation.”

The five bills that Majority Leader Creem filed, which grew out of a hearing that she held last year, are meant to complement ZEV-related legislation filed by her colleagues in the Senate. More information on each of the five bills can be found below:

An Act incentivizing the adoption of zero-emission vehicles and the early retirement of high-emission vehicles

• This bill codifies the MOR-EV rebate program, increases the minimum rebate size to $5,000, requires rebates to be offered at the point of sale by 2024, and creates an additional incentive worth up to $2,500 for low- and moderate-income households. Plugin hybrid electric vehicles would be eligible for both incentives until 2025.

• This bill also requires the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), in conjunction the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), to establish a Cash for Cumbustors program designed to facilitate the replacement of high-emission vehicles with ZEVs or low-emission mobility options like public transit. MIT Professor David Ross Keith testified to the Global Warming and Climate Change Committee that this kind of program would deploy ZEVs faster and lead to significant emission reductions over time.

An Act reducing the emissions of transportation network companies and private vehicle fleets

• This bill directs Massachusetts to adopt regulations that are substantially equivalent to California’s Clean Miles Standard, which requires transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft to meet gradually increasing emission-reduction and vehicle electrification requirements. Under the regulation, TNCs must provide 90 percent of

vehicle miles traveled in zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

• The bill also directs DOER to establish goals for the conversion of private vehicle fleets to ZEVs, to provide education, training, and technical assistance to private fleet operators, and to design and implement an incentive program to spur private fleet conversion, with priority going to fleets that are based in low-income communities and communities with high levels of childhood asthma.

An Act promoting access to zero-emission school buses

• This bill requires DOER and MassCEC to establish a program to assist municipalities and regional school districts in purchasing or leasing zero-emission school buses, with priority going to low-income communities and communities with high levels of childhood asthma.

• The bill also requires the Operational Services Division to establish a statewide contract for the purchase or lease of zero-emission school buses.

An Act establishing guidelines for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by condominium owners

• This bill prohibits a homeowners association or other similar association from unreasonably restricting an owner from installing an electric vehicle charging station. It is modeled on a Boston home rule petition that was signed into law in 2019.

An Act promoting the recovery and recycling of electric vehicle batteries

• This bill creates a commission—composed of government, industry, and advocacy organizations—to recommend policies that will promote the recovery and recycling of lithium-ion vehicle batteries. The implementation of such policies will reduce the need for mining that can have detrimental environmental impacts.