LePage and Quebec Premier plan electric car corridor


You’ll be seeing more and more electric car charging stations in major tourist attractions across Maine and parts of Canada this summer, thanks to Gov. Paul LePage and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, who announced an initiative to install new charging stations between Quebec and Maine tourist destinations.
The electric vehicle corridor initiative announced on Wednesday in Quebec City would build a public-private partnership to build on existing charging stations in addition to assessing the feasibility of adding additional charging stations to other tourist locations in Maine.
“Tourism is our biggest industry, and it is critical that we ensure we have the electric vehicle infrastructure to ensure that the people of Quebec can continue to visit our beautiful state,” LePage said in a news release. “The history of the Quebec and Maine relationship is strong, and we must maintain our connectivity with modern transportation infrastructure. Electric vehicles have made significant progress and are coming to Maine. It’s vital we have a plan to make Maine open to this important technological change.”
As part of the corridor plans, Maine’s Energy Office and Department of Transportation will work with local businesses, electric vehicle companies and the informal coalition Drive Electric Maine to execute the program, with LePage and Couillard directing state and provincial agencies to execute an initial plan by summer 2016.
The cost and who exactly would pay for the charging stations of the program is still unclear. Patrick Woodcock, the governor’s energy director, told the Portland Press Herald a high-speed charger can cost upwards of $40,000.
Last year, Maine installed 16 new electric car charging stations, with electric car maker Tesla pledging to install an additional 19 “destination charging stations” this year – the most of any year in the state’s history, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Electric vehicles still have a long way to go in Maine before they are as prevalent with drivers as gasoline powered vehicles. Of the over 46,000 new vehicles registered in Maine last year through September, less than 1% were battery-electric cars and plug-in vehicles with small gasoline engines.