Group encouraging local motorists make the switch to electric ca - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Group encouraging local motorists make the switch to electric cars

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

More and more electric vehicles or EV's are popping up on roads across the country.

As some drivers go green, environmentalists gathered in Springfield Tuesday morning to encourage residents in the Pioneer Valley to make the switch.

Environment Massachusetts released a report today and their message is clear: the time is now as a city and as a region to keep western Massachusetts streets clear of pollution.

A big part of that? The choice to turn those gas guzzlers in for full-on electric.

The report is called 'Plugging In' and it looks at expected growth in electric vehicles, while making recommendations that cities can take to encourage drivers to switch.

The group hopes more businesses and neighborhoods in cities will install charging stations for these vehicles.

With sales up more than a third nationwide each of the last two years, the state director for Environment Massachusetts, Ben Hellerstein, told Western Mass News that Springfield can play a critical role in leading the 'electric revolution' and that it's important to act now as the effects of pollution continue to show.
"It's responsible for about 40 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions and it's a major source of health harming pollution that contributes to elevated rates of asthma in Springfield and other cities in the Pioneer Valley, so the sooner we can switch away from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles, the sooner we can protect our health, and ensure a safe, liveable climate for our children," Hellerstein said.

Hellerstein also said based on their report, the city may have as many as 7,000 all-electric cars by the end of the next decade, and that these vehicles are just the start of a future powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

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