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June 13, 2024

Maine will roll out 52 more high-speed EV chargers in 17 locations

An EV charging station. Photo / Courtesy, Efficiency Maine The state plans to install 52 high-speed electric vehicle charging stations in 17 locations around Maine in the coming year.

The state plans to install 52 high-speed electric vehicle charging stations in 17 locations around Maine in the coming year.

The charging network is expanding to serve travelers on heavily traveled highways and roads — such as Interstate 95, U.S. Route 2, U.S. Route 302 and some roads in Portland and Bangor — and to support outdoor recreation and university communities, according to a news release.

“Maine’s critical tourism economy must be accessible to all travelers and today’s announcement will support Maine businesses and regions to open their doors to electric vehicle customers,” said Patrick Woodcock, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. 

Investment in the charging infrastructure will be nearly $8.6 million. 

Funding includes $5.7 million from National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, $2.8 million through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and settlement funds from the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project.

Site selection was made through the state’s Recharge Maine initiative, a partnership among the Maine Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, the Governor’s Energy Office, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Efficiency Maine. Efficiency Maine is an independent, quasi-state agency established to plan and implement energy efficiency programs in the state.

Maine has 14,460 electric vehicles on the road as of April.

“By extending the high-speed charger network to more rural areas of our state, we are making EVs a viable option for the vast majority of long-distance trips people take in Maine,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine.

“I’m looking forward to seeing these built in the next 12 months so Mainers in rural areas can give more serious consideration to buying an EV as their next vehicle.”

A  high-speed Level 3 charger, for use in a commercial setting, can add enough power in 30 minutes to drive 100 to more than 200 miles, according to Efficiency Maine.

That compares with a Level 2 charger, for use in a home or commercial setting, which adds 25 miles per hour of charge. Level 1 charging, or plugging in the car at home, adds 5 miles per hour of charging.

“Drivers across Maine and the nation are increasingly choosing electric vehicles because they are safe, reliable, and better for our environment,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “This means that Maine must have a robust charging infrastructure to help ensure that you can get there from here.”

New sites for high-speed EV chargers

Cumberland County

  • Hannaford Supermarket, Main Street, Gorham
  • Nouria, Ossipee Trail, Gorham
  • University of Southern Maine, School Street, Gorham
  • Marginal Way Parking Lot, Portland
  • Hannaford Supermarket, Forest Avenue, Portland
  • Shaw’s Plaza, Roosevelt Trail, Windham
  • Nouria, Portland Road, Bridgton

Franklin County

  • Rangeley Hideaway, Main Street, Rangeley

Oxford County

  • River Street Parking Lot, Rumford

Penobscot County

  • Tractor Supply Plaza, Central Street, Millinocket
  • Dysart’s Restaurant and Truck Stop, Coldbrook Road, Hermon
  • Airport Mall, Union Street, Bangor
  • Hannaford Supermarket, Stillwater Avenue, Bangor
  • Hannaford Supermarket, Moosehead Trail, Newport
  • Alltown Market, Park Street, Orono
  • University of Maine, Beddington Road, Orono

Piscataquis County

  • Indian Hill Trading Post, Moosehead Lake Road, Greenville

Charging up

Of the 17 locations, the nine sites funded through the Federal NEVI program — in Bangor, Bridgton, Hermon, Newport, Portland, Rumford and Windham — will offer at least four chargers. The other eight sites will have two chargers at each location, bringing the total of new chargers to 52.

“This expansion of high-speed charging infrastructure will help reduce range anxiety for current and future Maine EV drivers and will help communities attract commerce and tourism,” said Joyce Taylor, chief engineer at the Maine Department of Transportation.

“MaineDOT, through Recharge Maine, will continue to work to expand this network to ensure that Maine has an accessible, available, and reliable charging network across the state.”

Maine is leading the country in deployment of clean energy technology, including EV charging, said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office. 

The availability of public electric vehicle charging stations has more than doubled in Maine since 2019.

In January, the state received a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support the further installation of 62 Level 3 fast charging ports and 520 Level 2 charger ports at more than 70 sites in 63 Maine cities and towns, adding to the more than 1,000 public EV charging ports now available in Maine.

In April, some of the nation’s first public EV-charging stations funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opened along U.S. Route 1 in Rockland. 

Maine was the fifth state to open NEVI-funded chargers and the first to have an operational NEVI-funded charging location open in conjunction with EV manufacturer Tesla.

Currently, a total of 830 Level 2 community ports at 409 locations and 241 high-speed charging ports at 88 locations are publicly available in Maine.

Over the next few years, it’s expected that Maine will receive an additional $12 million from the NEVI Formula program and $15 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program for the Recharge Maine initiative, which intends to establish fast charging stations every 50 miles or less along Maine’s major corridors, in urban areas and in rural service centers.

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