Local EV updates and rebates for Cambridge, Somerville, and beyond

09/19/23  |  Rebecca Taplin

Buckle up, electric vehicle owners and EV-curious folks! Cambridge, Somerville, and beyond are implementing incentives and infrastructures to support EVs with rebates, discounts, and improved access to chargers—whether you’re plugging in at a public charging station or at home.

Update One: For garage and driveway chargers



Rebates for electric vehicle home charging stations are here! Massachusetts residents who have, or are considering investing in, a home charging station, could be eligible for $700 in one-time rebates for installation, and up to $100 a year in off-peak charging discounts. And if you are eligible for the low-income Discount Rate from your electric company, and/or you live in a designated environmental justice area, you could receive even more incentives. Very specific parameters must be met to qualify for all of these rebates, including only installing a “level two” charging station with WiFi compatibility. To learn more, check out your electric company’s information:


Eversource Customers

National Grid Customers




Update Two: For street parking chargers



Electric vehicles are trending in popularity as an alternative to gas-powered cars, SUVs, and even pickup trucks. Sure, EVs eliminate trips to the gas station, but they still have to be charged from an outlet. This is all fine and good for suburban homeowners, who most likely have garages, driveways, or dedicated parking spaces adjacent to their homes. However, for city residents dependent upon street parking, an EV may seem impossible to manage. 



Residents of Cambridge and Somerville, and many surrounding communities, do have options for public charging, but these come with time limits and slow charging. Search your community’s website for EV charging options to learn more specific information.



The good news is that regulations and incentives are being developed that will support ownership of EVs in cities. For example, in July of 2023, Cambridge announced a pilot program allowing residents without driveways to run cords to their EVs across city sidewalks. 



(Dramatic pause here while you picture what this may look like)



My first reaction, and perhaps yours as well, is concern that there will be cords tangling up the sidewalks like the stage at an AC/DC show. I could imagine toddlers and grownups alike tripping over them, as well as wheelchairs and strollers struggling to navigate all the charging cords. However, the program mandates that an accessible cover ramp or elevated arm be installed to keep the cord out of the way. Read more about the specifics of the program, or find out how to apply for a permit here.




Electric cars are here to stay, and now that our cities are thinking about how to support EV infrastructure, it’s getting easier to own one. Soon enough (and today, in Cambridge), home buyers won’t have to buy a place with a dedicated driveway or garage, allowing for more choice in location and type of home. We’re excited to see how EV infrastructure will integrate with our communities, and we’ll keep our eyes open for more changes. 

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