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Cambridge begins pilot program for electric vehicle charging

Residents can now apply for a permit to charge their electric vehicles across sidewalks.

A foggy day driving over the bridge to Cambridge.

Charging electric vehicles across sidewalks may be forbidden in Boston, but the rules are changing across the river in Cambridge.

Photo by @artofobs

Cambridge is plugged into the the future of transportation. Thanks to the city’s new pilot program, owners of electric vehicles can apply for a permit to charge their rides across sidewalks.

This is a win for the residents who do not have driveways or access to off-street parking.

Permits cost $200 and require that drivers provide an accessible ramp to cover the cord on sidewalks. The new program reflects Cambridge’s awareness of the environmental benefits of using EVs. City-owned charging stations have logged 45,000+ hours of charging last year, and there are over 5,000 EVs registered in Cambridge.

The city will not issue permits within a five-minute walk of an existing public charging station, and streets with separated bike lanes and major pedestrian routes are also not eligible.

While charging across sidewalks is not permitted in Boston, the city previously shared a commitment to installing public charging stations or EV car shares within a 10 minute walk of every household.

Cambridge officials will evaluate the program through 2024 as it seeks new ways to support the city’s EV infrastructure.