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A Summer Day in Central Massachusetts

By Kevin Sandoval

I’ve always been passionate about tackling climate change and doing my part for the environment, so when I was asked to participate in a project with National Grid for their Drive Clean Across Massachusetts initiative, I knew it’d be a great fit.

Massachusetts and National Grid are on a clean energy mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle climate change—and the electrification of cars and homes will play a key role. For this project, I was tasked with taking an ice cream summer road trip for National Ice Cream Day in an electric vehicle around Central Massachusetts. This was my first time driving an EV, and I was really looking forward to it. I’ve seen and been in them, of course—I’ve just never been behind the wheel of one! I forgot I wouldn’t hear an engine running, so when I first put the EV in drive, I sat there for a minute until I realized I was good to go.

Kevin leaning on EV

As I glided out of the garage, I felt comfortable and safe. I had about 205 miles of charge, and since I had already done my research, I knew that most newer EV models can go up to 230 on a single charge. But just to be safe (and because I really wanted to try out a charging station), I headed over to get it fully charged.

I used an EV charging station map and was surprised by how easy it was to find locations close to home. In large part because of National Grid, EV charging stations are everywhere now. They have enabled the deployment of over 1,800 charging ports in their jurisdictions, making them so much more accessible than you’d think. For reference, there are now more than 5,900 charging ports in Massachusetts alone.

EV Plug image

Plugging in and connecting was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done, and knowing I was saving money driving an EV was extremely satisfying. That’s one of the biggest benefits of driving an EV—how much more cost-effective they are than a gas vehicle.

Prior to my day trip, I posted a poll on my Instagram stories to have my audience vote on which central Massachusetts ice cream shop I should visit—and Gibson’s Dairy Farm was the winner! I was super excited to visit them and share that National Grid was buying ice cream for all the shop’s customers. It was a hot day in July, making free ice cream the perfect surprise.

Kevin and Bob eating ice cream

While there, I got the chance to connect with Bob from National Grid to learn more about the initiative, which motivated me to share with the ice cream shop’s customers more about it as well.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people that either had electric vehicles or had experience with them. I also told them a bit about the vehicle and home charging incentives that make EVs particularly affordable now. The Federal Plug-in Electric Vehicle Credit, for example, provides up to $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase or lease of an EV. And who doesn’t like the idea of a rebate or tax credit, especially when doing their part to protect the environment? It was encouraging to hear the feedback from the people I met at the ice cream shop and find out that most people are totally on board with driving clean.

My experience teaming up with National Grid has motivated me to do my part in helping reduce gas emissions, and I can confidently say my next vehicle will be an EV. They are safe, easier to maintain, better for the environment, and of course, don’t require you to spend money on gas. At the end of the day, cleaner cars mean cleaner air and overall better health for everyone.