Electric vehicle charging stations surge as traditional gas stations fade away

In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, Darshan Brahmbhatt, plugs a charger into his electric vehicle at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District charging station in Sacramento, Calif. Climate change legislation signed Wednesday, Oct. 7 by Gov. Jerry Brown calls for major utilities to compete as an alternative transportation fuel source by installing thousands of charging stations where people live, work and play. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Associated Press/File
Darshan Brahmbhatt plugged a charger into his electric vehicle at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District charging station.

As the Globe reported last week, the number of traditional gas stations in the region has declined sharply, as soaring real estate prices entice many owners to sell their property. But as more drivers embrace “green’’ transportation, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of stations selling alternative fuels, primarily electric charging stations.

Today, there are more than 27,800 alternative fuel stations nationwide, about four times as many as there were in 2010, data from the US Department of Energy show.

In Massachusetts, there are nearly 600 alternative fuel stations, most of which offer electric charging. By comparison, there were just three electric charging stations statewide in October 2010, according to a Globe report.


And, the number of such stations in Massachusetts ranks as the 20th most nationally, though on a per capita basis the state ranks 27th.

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The stations are most prevalent in Boston, Cambridge, and their immediate suburbs. There are also clusters in and around other major cities in the state, including Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell, and sizable numbers in Hyannis and Barnstable on Cape Cod and in Northampton and Amherst in the western part of the state.

Massachusetts has the most alternative fueling stations in New England, but on a per-capita basis, it trails the region’s other five states.

Vermont’s 177 stations, coupled with a relatively small population, give it the highest number of alternative fuel stations per resident in the country.

Despite the rise in alternative fueling locations, they remain outnumbered by traditional gas stations by about four to one.


The vast majority of alternative fuel stations nationwide, more than 80 percent of them, are publicly accessible, and a majority of them, about two-thirds, are electric charging stations.

The rest sell liquefied petroleum gas; ethanol flex fuel; compressed natural gas; biodiesel; liquefied natural gas; or hydrogen.

Alternative fuel stations in Massachusetts

This map shows publicly-accessible alternative fuel stations across the state. Certain fueling businesses or locations may appear multiple times if the station offers more than one type of alternative fuel. Hover over each dot to see what type of fuel is sold as well as as the station name and address. To see other locations around the country, click here.

U.S. Department of Energy

Matt Rocheleau/Globe Staff

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mrochele.