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Leynah McGarghan

MassEVolves Spotlight: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) has undertaken several initiatives to increase education and awareness of electric vehicles (EVs) within the campus community, and is also investing in EV infrastructure and operations. The objective, says Jamie Jacquart, Assistant Director for Campus Sustainability, is “to see that electric vehicles are something that are becoming mainstream and normalized and part of everybody’s experiences.”

UMass Dartmouth’s main campus has two dual port EV charging stations. The university has been working with Eversource and the State Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to finance and install additional EV charging stations on campus.

Last year, UMass Dartmouth held the campus’s first EV test drive event to provide students with the opportunity to look at and test out some electric vehicles, including electric bicycles. For many students, it was their first EV driving experience. The school also provided information about the wide range of EVs available on the market. Many students saw the price as not being a financial barrier.
For them, “EVs were not as expensive as they had thought initially,” Jamie says.

UMass Dartmouth’s main campus hosts two dual port EV charging stations and is working with Eversource and the State Department of Environmental Protection to finance and install additional electric vehicle charging stations on campus. The school plans to add an additional ten dual port chargers to help service the 18 EVs that are being driven to campus on a regular basis.

UMass Dartmouth recently purchased its first electric plugin vehicle, a Prius Prime for parking enforcement staff, with a pledge to add at least one more in 2021. “They are thrilled and excited to be able to drive and spend most of their day on electricity, rather than having to constantly be using gasoline to do that,” says Jamie.

To learn more about UMass Dartmouth, visit umassd.edu. To download the complete MassEVolves UMass Dartmouth PDF case study, click here.

MassEVolves is a statewide initiative conducted by Recharge America in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. More information about the MassEVolves program is at massevolves.org.

MassEVolves Spotlight: Braintree Electric Light Company (BELD)

BELDThe Braintree Electric Light Department’s innovative “Braintree Drives Electric” program has been generating awareness and promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) to Braintree residents since 2016.

The program provides Braintree residents with discounts based on their charging habits and for the installation of charging equipment at their home. 

“We want to show residents the many benefits of owning or leasing an EV, including reduction to environmental impacts, affordability, and efficiency,” says Ken Stone, Energy Services and Accounting Manager. 

After partnering with Sagewell and Energy New England to help promote the program, BELD currently has about 80 residents enrolled with approximately 100 EVs in the town of Braintree. 

As part of the program, BELD has hosted virtual EVents, including a Q&A and a local EV specialist roundtable. Sagewell identifies new Braintree EV owners and contacts them to inform them about the Braintree Drives Electric program and uses smart charging program data to analyze residents’ charging habits. Energy New England manages the Braintree Drives Electric website, processes all customer rebates, and provides outreach to customers and local car dealerships. 

BELD currently owns and operates one Chevrolet Volt, two Volkswagen e-Golfs, and two hybrid bucket trucks, with a third hybrid bucket truck ordered and expected to arrive in 2021. BELD also owns and operates two dual head charging stations, which are free of charge for all electric vehicle users.t

To learn more about BELD, visit beld.net. To download the complete MassEVolves BELD PDF case study, click here.

MassEVolves is a statewide initiative conducted by Recharge America in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. More information about the MassEVolves program is at massevolves.org.

Leading by Example: A New Program to Promote EV Fleet Purchases in Mass.

Leading by Example Fleet Challenge

Leading by Example Fleet ChallengeMore than any other single group, fleet vehicle operators stand to gain from going electric. Fleet vehicles tend to be used much more frequently than passenger vehicles and are operated for much longer durations, and as a consequence, the economic benefits of lower maintenance and fuel costs are multiplied.

With fleet vehicles in mind, MassEVolves, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ Leading by Example (LBE), has created a new program opportunity: the Electric Vehicle Purchase Challenge (The Challenge). This annual, voluntary challenge initiative spotlights new electric vehicle (EV) purchases for fleets made by MassEVolves participants. 

MassEVolves is a state program recognizing organizations for supporting the use of electric vehicles for their operations, employees, and communities. It is conducted by Recharge America in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. 

For the inaugural year of The Challenge, MassEVolves will recognize participants who have or will be purchasing electric fleet vehicles between 2018 and the end of calendar year 2021 then on an annual basis The Challenge offers a unique opportunity to add additional EVs to the roads of Massachusetts. 

Any eligible organization or agency that wishes to participate in The Challenge can: 

  1. Submit a MassEVolves participation pledge. 
  2. Participate with MassEVolves and LBE staff, as applicable, in technical support activities related to implementing the pledge. 
  3. Submit data on the number and types of EVs acquired between January 1, 2018 and the end of calendar year 2021.

While The Challenge is not an incentive program, it does provide valuable recognition, networking, and learning opportunities.

Why Fleet Electrification Makes So Much Sense 

An article by Heather Flanagan on CleanTechnica about fleet vehicles (sponsored by ABB) spells out some of the key benefits of fleet electrification. 

The not-so-secret sauce is utilization. A typical passenger car vehicle in the US might travel around 12,000 miles per year, but a transit bus or Class 8 truck will see up to five times that usage. Consequently, reliability, longevity, and associated maintenance costs are on an entirely different scale for fleet owners …. 

An individual EV owner may save more than a thousand dollars annually on fuel and maintenance costs over a comparable combustion vehicle while reducing their individual carbon footprint. For a fleet of a thousand round-the-clock buses, trucks, or rideshare vehicles operating at 50,000 miles per year or more over the course of ten years, the savings escalate quickly into the millions.

The new Challenge by  MassEVolves and Leading By Example provides a unique opportunity for participants to share best practices and gain access to valuable information from peers, helping to guide their EV rollout plans for the months and years to come. 

Eligible entities for The Challenge include companies, higher education institutions, and state agencies across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All state agencies should contact LBE’s Eric Friedman at eric.friedman@state.ma.us.

To sign up and learn more, email Leynah McGarghan at lmcgarghan@recharge-america.org.

Leynah McGarghan is Program Strategist at Recharge America