Posted by Catherine Cagle, MassDOT Manager of Sustainable Transportation
Watch for MassDOT’s four newly retrofitted ‘plug-in hybrid’ Toyota Priuses on the roads of Western and Central Massachusetts. These vehicles are the pride of MassDOT Highway Districts 1 and 2, which are ”Leading by Example” with the GreenDOT ‘Plug-In hybrid Pilot’ project. Low-carbon and renewable fuels and technology are important alternatives to gasoline that can offer a green benefit for the “triple bottom-line:” cost savings, environmental benefits, and quality of life improvements.
Thanks to the Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Initiative executed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Leading by Example Program, the Highway Division’s four Toyota Priuses were transformed into “plug-in hybrids,” or “PHVs.” Using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding, Leading by Example converted the MassDOT vehicles along with a number of hybrid vehicles from other state agencies .
PHV technology offers many benefits over a conventional hybrid, all-electric, or internal combustion engines, including lower fuel costs, convenient refueling, reductions in air pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions (assuming the vehicle is charged by an electric utility that has cleaner energy sources for generating electricity).
These vehicles have the same electric engine and internal combustion engine found in a hybrid vehicle, but like an all-electric vehicle you can also just plug the car into a wall socket to charge.
Thanks to MassDOT Districts 1 and 2, which will be managing and monitoring the fleet. In collaboration with DOER, they will also track key metrics to determine MassDOT’s ‘triple green bottom line’ savings for the pilot. The results of this monitoring can better inform our operations and help us be a ‘greener’ DOT.