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June 25, 2018
Focus: Energy

Electric vehicle public infrastructure coming to Maine as state reduces dependence on fossil fuels

Maine is developing electric vehicle infrastructure as part of a plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

EV consumer demand is rising, says Securing America's Future Energy, citing 2017 figures:

  • 140,000+ EVs sold in the U.S.
  • Battery electric vehicles accounted for 53% of sales.
  • Tesla, Nissan, General Motors and Toyota introduced new models.

Speakers at a recent EV Symposium held by Mount Desert Island's A Climate To Thrive say Maine is suited to EV use because nearly two-thirds of Maine's net electricity generation comes from renewable energy resources, including hydroelectricity, biomass and wind. The cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar gasoline vehicle is about half the cost of gas.

Maine's embrace of trends is highlighted as the state's Efficiency Maine Trust rolls out EV infrastructure along priority travel corridors from mid-2018 through mid-2020, funded by $3.15 million of Maine's $22 million share from the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust.

The build-out is divided into three initiatives, says Efficiency Maine Executive Director Michael Stoddard.

  • Establish a foundation of Level 3 fast-charge infrastructure along I-95/I-295 Kittery to Bangor, Route 201 Fairfield to Quebec Border, Route 1 Brunswick to Ellsworth, Route 2 Newport to New Hampshire, Route 3 Bar Harbor to Bangor, and Route 302 Portland to New Hampshire. Level 3 charges batteries in 20 minutes or less. Requests for host proposals begin this summer; installations to begin before Dec. 31.
  • Build additional Level 3 stations, filling in between foundation sites. Outreach to prospective sites expected to begin this fall.
  • Build Level 2 infrastructure at workplaces, lodgings, etc. Level 2 charges in two to six hours. Level 3 chargers cost $75,000 to $100,000 per station, Level 2 $1,000 to $2,000.

"Other initiatives are coming down the line," says Stoddard. "We want to send a signal to car manufacturers and others to invest in chargers, to make Maine an attractive and eligible candidate for funding from federal and corporate initiatives, and to facilitate market transformation."

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