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Mass. Ok's Electric Vehicle Use on Some Roads

January 22, 2009

New legislation has passed giving the ZAP Xebra all-electric sedan and truck clearance for use on Massachusetts roads. The new legislation allows limited use of low- and medium-speed electric vehicles on certain roads in Massachusetts.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill, H.5113, into law on Jan. 15. The law contains provisions allowing the Registry of Motor Vehicles to register as "motorcycles" three-wheeled electric vehicles that have standard safety equipment and travel no faster than 40 miles per hour. Such vehicles could be registered at the discretion of the Registrar, and would be limited to traveling on public roads having speed limits of 40 miles per hour or less.

State Rep. Garrett J. Bradley said he hoped the law would encourage the further development and use of alternative fuel vehicles to save energy and reduce the impact of cars on the environment.

The new law empowers the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to draft new regulations allowing the use of appropriate vehicles while ensuring the public's safety on local roads. It also governs the driving of so-called "low-speed" vehicles and restricts who can operate such vehicles.

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