NATICK – Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack today joined Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, and MassDOT and EEA staff on a tour to look at a recently activated electric vehicle charging station at the Natick Service Plaza along I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike).In addition to the charging station in Natick, MassDOT is in the process of installing five other electric vehicle charging stations at locations along I-90 in order to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel, increase range confidence, and support electric vehicle adoption throughout the Commonwealth.
“We are pleased to continue working to reduce vehicle emissions and upgrade our transportation infrastructure in ways that provide sustainable options to travelers,” said Secretary Pollack. “By working closely with our public and private sector partners, we can encourage growth and development that allows people to reach their destinations using environmentally-friendly modes of transportation.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the transition to cleaner, more efficient vehicles for Massachusetts residents,” said Secretary Beaton. “Installing charging stations on the Turnpike provides consumers confidence that they will have access to charging stations on long trips, a commonly cited hurdle in transitioning to zero emission vehicles.”
Charging stations are now operational at the Natick and two Lee Service Plazas, with a station at the Framingham Service Plaza scheduled to be activated this month, and stations at the two Charlton Service Plazas expected to be activated this fall. At this time there is no fee to use a charging station.
These charging stations support electric vehicle travel along I-90, which is one of several major Massachusetts highways designated by the federal government as part of a national network of EV charging corridors.
“We are proud to collaborate with our state government partners including the Executive Office of Energy and Affairs in working to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions,” said Acting Highway Administrator Gulliver. “These new charging stations will allow drivers to charge their vehicles while they enjoy the amenities of our many Service Plazas, meaning they can take longer trips along I-90 and have any easier time reaching points throughout Massachusetts using more sustainable transportation.”
MassDOT and the MBTA will be celebrating Climate Week this week and next week in order to highlight state efforts in climate resiliency and climate adaptation, and celebrate the one year anniversary of Governor Baker’s signing of Executive Order 569. The Order, which builds on the administration’s nation-leading efforts to reduce emissions, lays out a comprehensive approach to further mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.
MassDOT is currently undertaking several climate focused initiatives including conducting a Statewide Vulnerability Assessment, a Coastal Transportation Vulnerability Assessment, and developing comprehensive plans for bicycle as well as pedestrian transportation. MassDOT is also continuing to install solar energy infrastructure at its Research and Materials Lab in Hopkinton and throughout its transportation systems and will be constructing its new Highway District 3 Office in Worcester as a Zero Net Energy facility.
The MBTA is carrying out projects such as the Fenway Portal Project to reduce flooding in the area of the Fenway Station and the project to improve the seawall near the Charlestown Bus Maintenance Facility to minimize flooding. The MBTA is also working to install new solar arrays and is constructing a wind turbine in Bridgewater to further climate sustainability.