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Massachusetts to Convert 10 Hybrids to Plug-Ins for State Fleet

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched a pilot project to introduce plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology into the state vehicle fleet.

As part of its Leading by Example Program, the Commonwealth will retrofit 10 gasoline hybrids – ranging from sedans to SUVs – currently owned by state agencies to plug-in operation, in order to test and demonstrate the new technology. The conversions are expected to cost $8,000 to $10,000 per vehicle.

One of the conversions will go to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, who will be trading in his current state car—a 2003 Ford Taurus that gets 20 mpg—for the PHEV.

Secretary Bowles made the announcement at the AltWheels event, flanked by a test plug-in Prius on loan for the occasion from A123Systems. A123Systems is expected to seek a contract to convert state vehicles in the pilot project through the public procurement process. A Request For Proposals will be released this fall.



Democratic Governor Deval Patrick has used his executive powers to push through technological environmental improvements without waiting around for the Democratic (but less progressive) Massachusetts state legislature.

Other examples include requiring biofuels for state fleet vehicles [ethanol & biodiesel], high mpg vehicles across the board [a continuation and expansion of GOP former Governor Mitt Romney's policy], and renewable electricity for government agencies above the state RPS requirements.

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