Boston-based nonprofit BlueHub Capital is partnering with the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp. in Dorchester to launch a pilot program that aims to make electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable for residents of affordable housing units. The program utilizes technology that takes advantage of the different prices of electricity at different times.
To achieve Massachusetts’ carbon emission reduction goals and convince nearly one million drivers to switch to EVs by 2030, it is crucial to ensure that no cities or towns are overlooked. This will require the installation of hundreds of new charging stations and the training of thousands more EV technicians and mechanics. However, the high cost of EVs remains a barrier, especially as the US auto industry has produced few low-cost models to date.
The pilot program in Dorchester addresses this issue by offering discounted rentals of EVs. Kelvyn Lopez, a resident of the Girls Latin apartment complex, was able to rent a Nissan Leaf from Enterprise for just $100 per month through the program. Additionally, part of the cost reduction is made up by selling back some of the charge in the car’s battery during periods of high electricity demand.
The pilot program is considered a success, and plans are underway to expand it to other affordable housing developments. The installation of special EV chargers from Fermata Energy allows the flow of electrons in two directions, enabling the charger to send energy from the car battery back to the grid when electricity demand is high. This reverse demand generates revenue of approximately $3,000 a year.
The program’s aim is to demonstrate the financial viability of such initiatives and to provide advantages such as reducing air pollution and generating revenue by selling electricity back to the grid. If successful, this pilot program could serve as a model for other communities seeking to make EVs more affordable and to integrate renewable energy.
Sources: The Boston Globe