An innovative approach has emerged to monitor the gradual yet significant strides made toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the roads in Massachusetts. The Department of Transportation has introduced an interactive web-based dashboard that aggregates data concerning passenger vehicles registered in Massachusetts. This includes information about whether the vehicles are powered by fossil fuels, electricity, or a combination of both.
The dashboard provides estimates on the number of miles traveled by these vehicles and their average mileage, all sorted by individual municipalities. This affords a closer look into geographical trends as the authorities strive to make the transportation system more environmentally friendly.
Of all the cities and towns, Lexington stands out with the highest proportion of clean vehicles within its boundaries. According to the dashboard, 14.2 percent of registered vehicles there are either zero-emission or hybrid models.
As of January 1, Massachusetts had approximately 69,000 zero-emission passenger vehicles and 153,000 hybrid passenger vehicles registered, juxtaposed with the 4.6 million passenger vehicles running on fossil fuels. In the commercial sector, MassDOT reported almost 330,000 fossil fuel vehicles, 3,000 hybrid vehicles, and 357 zero-emission vehicles at the year’s onset.
Melissa Hoffer, the climate chief of the Healey administration, shared, “This instrument will enable us to monitor our advancements toward climate goals associated with vehicle usage. The accumulated data will be pivotal in guiding our decision-making process for the allocation of resources and investments throughout the Commonwealth, aiming for a greener and healthier future.”
With the transportation sector accounting for roughly 42 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts, the state has set a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. To meet decarbonization commitments, the Baker administration stated last year that they need to put at least 200,000 passenger electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and have 900,000 in operation by 2030.