BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is allotting part of its Volkswagen settlement funds for the statewide transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

The funds will be divided into three categories: $26.8 million for Regional Transit Authority electric transit buses and chargers, $7.5 million for an electrification-only Volkswagen Solicitation, and $50,000 for administrative costs.

Massachusetts received $75 million as part of a 2017 national settlement to resolve a vehicle emissions cheating scandal by Volkswagen.

“As Attorney General, I took on Volkswagen for flagrantly violating laws that protect public health and the air that we breathe and secured millions for our state to help meet our electric power needs,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We’re pleased to use these final settlement funds to reach our clean energy goals and support the electrification of our transit fleets.”

“These funds will go a long way toward supporting our Administration’s priority of regional equity,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “By incentivizing electrification of our Regional Transit Authorities, we are both reducing greenhouse gases and improving public health in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

This final 2023 BMP amendment issued today commits Massachusetts full $75 million Volkswagen Settlement allocation of:

  • $48.8 million in total to support the purchase of electric transit buses and chargers by Regional Transit Authorities. The final 2023 amendment will provide $26.8 million to the Cape Ann Transit Authority, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority, and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority. Previously, the December 2019 amendment allocated $22 million for the purchase of EV buses and chargers by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority, and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.
  • $11.3 million for the purchase and installation of light-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Massachusetts.
  • $7.5 million through the January 2019 Volkswagen Open Solicitation for proposals to implement projects eligible under the Volkswagen Settlement.
  • $7.5 million through the second Volkswagen Open Solicitation for proposals to implement electrification projects eligible under the Settlement; and
  • $50,000 in administrative funds to disburse checks to grantees.

The Volkswagen Settlement BMP funds projects that:

  • Help the Commonwealth achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets and reduce air pollution in the transportation sector.
  • Promote electrification of the state’s transportation network.
  • Drive technological and policy progress in air pollution mitigation and GHG emissions reduction in the transportation network.
  • Serve environmental justice populations; and
  • Promote equitable geographic distribution across the state.

The state has already used some of the award money to replace older diesel vehicles and equipment with cleaner diesel and alternative fuel, including electric models, as well as funding the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) that provides grants for electric vehicle charging stations.

Information on MassEVIP is available here, and information on Massachusetts projects completed using Volkswagen Settlement funds is available here.