BlueHub's pilot program, which was featured in The Boston Globe, aims to make electric vehicles more affordable, using technology that can take advantage of the different price of electricity at different times.
BlueHub Energy collaborated with Fermata Energy, Enterprise Holdings and Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp. (CSNDC) to launch the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pilot program for multi-family affordable housing in the nation. It is designed to increase affordable access to electric vehicles for low-income drivers.
“A lot of times when new technology is being adopted, it’s only about the people who can afford it,” said DeWitt Jones, president of BlueHub Energy. “We are concerned that low income communities and environmental justice communities might be left behind.”
Kelvyn Lopez, who lives in the Girls Latin apartment complex in Dorchester, wanted to go electric for a vehicle he could use to commute to his job as a driver for FedEx Freight and for trips around the region. But renting a Nissan Leaf or similar small EV would cost $200 per month plus several thousand dollars for a down payment — too much for Lopez to afford. Under the pilot program, Lopez rented a Leaf from Enterprise starting in August for just $100 per month.
CSNDC is eager to help residents convert to EVs, as its neighborhoods suffer both from the air pollution produced by gasoline-powered cars and the increasing temperatures from carbon emissions, Gail Latimore, the corporation’s executive director, said. Helping residents afford EVs and potentially generating revenue by selling electricity back to the grid are also advantages.
“It was a no-brainer for me,” Latimore said.