Massachusetts has picked the nonprofit California Center for Sustainable Energy to administer a new incentive program aimed at increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles driven by the East Coast-state’s residents.

The San Diego-based center already administers the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project for California and is the only third-party organization in the nation to manage statewide clean vehicle incentive programs. This is the first rebate program that center will manage outside of California.

The Massachusetts program will provide up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles. Currently Massachusetts residents drive some 3,600 electric vehicles, compared to over 50,000 in California.

“We are proud to bring our expertise in administering electric vehicle rebate programs to Massachusetts and hope to work with other states to implement these tremendously important initiatives,” said the center’s Executive Director Len Hering, a retired Navy rear admiral.

“Incentive programs play a significant role in introducing and promoting clean energy technologies on a wider scale, especially when there are real and perceived barriers to their adoption. The added value and rewards of rebates help people to make more sustainable choices while supporting goals for cleaner air and reduced fossil-fuel consumption.”

The center will handle program administration, marketing, and consumer and dealer education in order to encourage Massachusetts consumers to choose eligible electric vehicles and apply for rebates.

“Massachusetts is positioned to be a leader in EV adoption with many of the key characteristics found in EV clusters across the U.S. — a high population density, relatively short commute distances and higher incomes,” said Jack Clark, the California center’s director of programs.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.