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Mass. joins compact on zero-emission cars

Massachusetts has joined seven other states in an alliance to build the stations and draft the rules and standards to put more than 3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025, state environmental officials announced Thursday.

The states — California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont — make up nearly a quarter of the nation’s car sales.

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“By promoting the use of plug-in vehicles through the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle initiative and an array of consumer and fleet incentives, we are able to give motorists choices in the vehicles they drive and cleaner, less expensive fuel to power them,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement.

Massachusetts has already spent millions of dollars on a variety of programs to promote electric and hybrid vehicles. State officials said it was unclear how much more the agreement with the other states would cost.

Massachusetts, for example, provides consumer rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle registered in the state. Officials have also appropriated money to build 15 stations around the state that can charge electric vehicles quickly.

The hope is that the stations one day might also power hydrogen-based vehicles once they become more widely available.

By April 2014, there were nearly 200,000 plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles on the nation’s roads, and sales doubled over the past year, said officials at the Department of Environmental Protection.

David Abel can be reached at
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