Clean Transportation

Emissions from the Transportation Sector

Over half of Maine’s carbon emissions come from the transportation sector. As a rural and geographically large state, Maine people often depend on personal vehicles to get around. Currently, Maine people have a high dependency on gasoline to power their vehicles, which contributes to climate change and sends money to out-of-state fossil fuel providers rather than investing in Maine’s economy. The state is exploring cleaner fuel options and has a number of initiatives directed at electrifying aspects of Maine’s transportation system.

Transportation Beneficial Electrification

In 2017, then-Attorney General Mills won $5.1 million for the state after taking legal action against Volkswagen (VW) and its affiliates Audi AG and Porsche AG for violating state environmental laws and emissions through their marketing and sales of light vehicles in Maine. The settlement specified that funds be used to reduce vehicle pollution, such as by installing public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Efficiency Maine Trust administers programs to expand electric vehicle adoption and the availability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Maine.

Farmington Charging Stations from Efficiency Maine Trust
          Farmington Charging Stations
    (Photo Source: Efficiency Maine Trust)

Electric Vehicle Charging Initiatives

Maine is working to expand the electric vehicle charging network through multiple initiatives. Charging stations have been and are continuing to be installed along previously identified travel corridors in coordination with Efficiency Maine Trust. Visit Efficiency Maine Trust’s website to learn about charging infrastructure incentives, find charging stations in Maine, and discover more about clean transportation programs.

Electric Vehicle Accelerator Rebate Program

Approximately half of the VW settlement fund is being used to provide financial incentive programs to help public agencies and organizations that serve the elderly, low-income Mainers, and Mainers with special needs to purchase EVs. The remaining settlement funds were used to establish an electric vehicle rebate program for purchase or lease of EVs for Maine residents and businesses. Both of these programs are being administered by Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT).

Visit the Efficiency Maine website to learn more about both the EV Charging Initiatives & EV Rebate Programs: https://www.efficiencymaine.com/ev/

Clean Transportation Roadmap

To accelerate Maine’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, Governor Janet Mills has signed an executive order (PDF) calling for a “clean transportation roadmap” to achieve the state’s climate plan goal of increasing the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in Maine by 2030.

Reducing emissions from transportation – which is the source of more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Maine – is a key piece of Maine’s overall effort to curb state emissions by 45% by 2030The state’s climate action plan, Maine Won't Wait, estimates Maine needs 219,000 light-duty EVs on the road by 2030 to meet its emissions targets.

The roadmap, due by December 2021, will develop recommendations to enhance the EV market in Maine, expand charging infrastructure, evaluate effects on electric utilities and the grid, and ensure an equitable and affordable transition to clean transportation for all people in Maine.

Currently, EVs account for fewer than 1 percent of registered vehicles in Maine. However, the amount of EVs is expected to grow in coming years due to advancing technology, reductions in cost, increasing consumer demand, and commitments from the federal government, state governments, and major auto manufacturers to accelerate the transition to EVs.

Work on the clean transportation roadmap will be led by the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and the Governor’s Energy Office, in concert with the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Efficiency Maine Trust. The Roadmap is also supported by The Cadmus Group, LLC and E2Tech.

Visit the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future website for updates on the Clean Transportation Roadmap and to learn how you can get involved:  https://www.maine.gov/future/initiatives/climate/cleantransportation