Boston Globe Today: Transforming Transportation

May 22nd, 2024

In Dorchester, a pilot program is paving the way for sustainable and affordable transportation and housing. BlueHub Capital, in partnership with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Fermata Energy, and Enterprise, introduced an innovative initiative to provide electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced charging infrastructure to residents of affordable housing developments.

Kelvin Lopez, a resident of Girls Latin Academy Apartments, a fully affordable housing complex in Codman Square, has shared his positive experience with the program. He commutes 14 miles daily from Dorchester to Abington, Massachusetts. With the introduction of a subsidized Nissan LEAF, Kelvin has drastically reduced his monthly transportation costs, which previously ranged from $150-$200 on gas, to virtually zero due to the electric vehicle. This shift not only eases his financial burden but also contributes to a cleaner environment.

The program's objectives extend beyond merely cutting transportation costs. A key component is leveraging EV batteries as a clean energy source for buildings. Fermata Energy's bi-directional charger technology enables the purchase and sale of energy to and from the grid during peak demand times. This capability not only generates additional savings for residents but also supports the integration of renewable energy into the grid.

Despite the evident benefits, such as reduced pollution and cost savings, the initiative faces challenges, including the limited battery range of EVs for long trips. Nevertheless, Kelvin's daily commute has become more efficient and environmentally friendly, illustrating the practical advantages of the program.

BlueHub Capital envisions a broader future where electric vehicle utilization and enhanced charging infrastructure become standard in environmental justice communities. This pilot program represents a significant and promising step towards realizing that vision, demonstrating the potential for widespread adoption and positive environmental impact. As the program continues to evolve, it aims to address current challenges and expand its reach, fostering a sustainable and equitable transportation future for all residents.