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January 12, 2024

Maine gets $15M to add hundreds of EV chargers across the state

Barry woods in an electric car File Photo / Tim Greenway Maine will use $15 million in federal funds to expand its electric vehicle charging network. Shown here is Barry Woods of ReVision Energy.

Maine will receive $15 million in federal money to expand the state's public network of electric vehicle chargers, allowing more Mainers to drive along "Electric Avenue."

A grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will fund the addition of 62 Level 3 fast-charging ports and 520 Level 2 charger ports at more than 70 sites in 63 cities and towns, Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday. Maine currently has over 1,000 public charging ports but needs more.

“Increasing the reliability of our statewide EV charging network will combat range anxiety in our rural state,” said Bruce Van Note, commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “This investment will also help the transportation sector’s transition to clean, renewable energy sources. All of Maine will benefit from having faster charging available statewide.”

The availability of EV charging stations has more than doubled in Maine since 2019, from 184 to 467. Further expansion is planned through Recharge Maine, a state initiative to create a convenient, reliable and accessible EV charging network, especially along the state’s busiest roads and highways.

In recent months, fast EV chargers were installed in Ellsworth, Bangor, Belfast, Newport, Fairfield, Auburn and Lewiston, and funding has been committed for chargers in Presque Isle, Fort Kent, Medway, Machias, Houlton, Ashland, Danforth, Van Buren, Baileyville, Augusta, Searsport, Waldoboro, Rockland and Brunswick. 

Electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent in Maine, with the number of battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered in the state increasing by 33% last year, from 9,244 in 2022 to 12,369 in 2023. 

To support EV drivers and vehicles, Level 3 fast charging stations associated with Recharge Maine are held to strict performance requirements. That includes having hardware and software that are both online and available for use at least 97% of the time.

Maine's grant comes from billions of federal dollars dedicated to EV charging networks under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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