All About Electric Vehicles in Worcester

This month, we are talking EVs! Electric vehicles are one of the city’s tools to reduce Worcester's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from the transportation sector.  

Before we dive in, let’s acknowledge that we know the transition to a zero-carbon transportation system depends on doing more than just switching to electric vehicles. The Green Worcester Plan lays out many other strategies to supplement the gains that can be made with EVs, such as: 

  • Shifting more trips from cars to transit, biking, and walking 
  • Reducing automobile trips through land use policies and regulations for efficient development patterns that support walkable, compact centers of housing and employment density that are served by transit and accessible by safe, comfortable, and convenient bicycle and pedestrian networks. 

The City is also working on the Mobility Action Plan to develop a program of transportation policies, projects and actions to enhance the safety, sustainability and equity of the City's transportation network. Learn more about the plan!  

Now, let’s take a closer look at transportation and EVs in Worcester. 

Pie chart showing the breakdown of Worcester's greenhouse gas emissions by percentage. 

Electrifying both City-owned and personal resident vehicles is a major piece of the transportation strategy in the Green Worcester Plan. Our most recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, completed in 2022, shows that transportation made up 16% of municipal emissions and 27% of community emissions. 

More EVs on the road means fewer gasoline-burning cars, which can significantly lower our transportation emissions and improve local air quality.   

While buildings represent a larger total chunk of the GHG emissions pie, electrification of the transportation system is as important as electrification of building systems. Electric vehicles are three times more efficient than internal combustion engines. The GHG emissions impact is, of course, dependent on using renewable energy to produce the electricity that charges the vehicle.  

This year, the City is making owning an EV more accessible than ever.  

Have you ever been excited about a charging station? Well, you should be! Establishing a wider network of EV chargers is absolutely crucial to increasing the local incentive for residents and businesses to purchase EVs. As companies like Tesla, GM, Ford, and more expand their charging infrastructure across the country, it is important for municipalities to provide affordable options to make owning an EV as equitable as possible. And that is just what we are doing! 

As of Fall 2023 the city has 30 publicly accessible EV charging stations for public use

These include: 

  • Federal Plaza Municipal Garage (6 ports) - new in 2023 
  • Major Taylor Municipal Garage (2 ports) 
  • Pearl-Elm Municipal Garage (6 ports) - new in 2023 
  • South High School (6 ports) 
  • Union Station Municipal Garage (4 ports) 
  • Worcester Common Municipal Garage (6 ports) - new in 2023

Our new stations, installed in 2023, supplement the wider network of charging infrastructure available in Worcester. Use our handy EV charging Station Locator tool here on the dashboard

Our goal is to help as many people as possible make the switch to an EV. On top of the public charging stations you can utilize, we also want to point to state and federal incentives that can lower the sometimes-prohibitive cost of purchasing a new vehicle. 

Check out these incentives

Are you convinced that your next vehicle (or first!) should be an EV yet? We hope you are; with all of the new models coming out every year, newly accessible charging stations available, and federal and state incentives out there, now is a great time to plan for an EV purchase.  

If an EV is not in the cards for you right now, we get it. Try doing your part to reduce transportation emissions elsewhere: 

Stay informed on local climate action and City initiatives here on the Green Worcester Dashboard. Curious about how you can do more to help? Check out the What You Can Do page