The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is Looking to Put "High Performance" Charge in EV Stations

Jan. 3, 2023
$225 million has been set aside for the charging program

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is assembling a “high performance unit” that will begin the state’s efforts to design and install additional charging stations for electric vehicles.

The new unit will be under the direction of a “senior staffer” within MassDOT for the near term, and will work toward advancing the work that was authorized by this year’s $11.3 billion transportation bond bill, according to Representative William Straus, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Transportation.

The bill allocated $225 million for electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling programs, including $50 million for the Mass EVIP Direct Current Fast Charging program and $25 million for RTA charging infrastructure grants, Straus said.

This new MassDOT unit is needed, Straus said, because transportation involvement in EV infrastructure and other capital programs “transcends the existing line agencies” under the secretary of transportation.

He said outgoing Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration was encouraged to think in terms of infrastructure projects that benefit climate response and future capital project needs in overlapping areas that would benefit the highway department, MBTA, RTAs and aeronautics.

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler addressed this issue during a November MassDOT Board of Directors meeting, where he shared a presentation slide that listed potential programs where MassDOT could provide assistance to the MBTA, Straus said.

At the meeting, it was discussed that MassDOT could assist with issues such as electric vehicle and charging stations, Commuter Rail electrification, bridge repair and rehab and ADA improvements “by establishing a new special project unit” within DOT to pursue those capital projects, Straus said.

Straus said he was told by Tesler that a “high performance unit” has been established to advance the work needed for the EV charging station design and installation funded in the transportation bond bill.

MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard said the unit is “in the process of being formed,” and more information will be released “later.”

“MassDOT is reviewing a number of options on how to best deliver multi-agency bond bill projects such as EV charging stations,” Goddard said. “Decisions are expected to be made in the coming weeks.”