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Clean Vehicles

Maine Focuses on Reducing Gas Emissions Through Clean Energy Transportation

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One way to convince government officials to get serious about climate change is to come up with a plan to battle it. And, that’s what the Governor of Maine did. Last month Gov. Mills issued an executive order instructing state agencies to develop a “clean transportation roadmap” to help ensure the state reaches its goals. 

“The clean transportation roadmap will make recommendations to ensure Maine consumers have affordable options for EVs, and access to charging infrastructure that meets the needs of rural and urban drivers alike,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council.

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The roadmap will put forth recommendations to grow the EV market, expand charging infrastructure, analyze the impact on electric utilities and the grid, and ensure a fair and affordable transition to clean transportation for Maine residents. The ultimate goal is to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The plan will be drafted by the Governor’s Energy Office and the Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and is due by December 30.

As noted on Gov. Mills’ website, reducing emissions from transportation is a key piece of Maine’s overall effort to curb state emissions by 45 percent by 2030. The reason is simple: transportation emissions account for more than half of all GHG emissions in Maine. According to the “Maine Won’t Wait” action plan, the state needs an estimated 219,000 light-duty EVs on the road by 2030 to meet its emissions targets.

For now, EVs account for fewer than 1 percent of registered vehicles in Maine. That figure should move much higher this decade thanks to better technology, lower costs, and rising consumer demand. The market will get an additional boost from the new administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which aims to install at least 500,000 new EV charging stations by 2030 to help facilitate the sale and use of more electric vehicles.

To reach their goals, Maine officials have put a high priority on making EVs more accessible to all residents.

Equally important is ramping up Maine’s electric grid to accommodate more electric vehicles, said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office.

“As electric vehicle technology advances and more models become available to consumers, Maine needs to ensure we have an electric grid that can support this growth,” Burgess said. “The clean transportation roadmap will begin to address the grid impacts and rate design needs to support this transition, grow the clean energy economy, and make significant progress against climate change.”

To help support the state’s clean transportation goals, the Efficiency Maine Trust recently announced the availability of $200,000 in Volkswagen settlement funds to install publicly available EV charging stations at state office locations.