Study from Governor’s Office and Policy Innovation and Future and Governor’s Energy Office supports objectives of state’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait
Augusta, MAINE – The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and Governor’s Energy Office today released a new study, the Clean Transportation Roadmap, with recommended strategies to accelerate Maine’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging stations, and a wider variety of public transportation options for Maine.
Required by executive order of Governor Janet Mills, the Roadmap identifies policy options to support the state’s four-year climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait. The Roadmap was developed by Cadmus, a strategic and technical consultant, in collaboration with several state agencies, Efficiency Maine Trust, and input from a broad group of public and industry stakeholders.
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 2030. Maine Won’t Wait estimates Maine needs 219,000 light-duty EVs on the road by 2030 to meet its emissions targets.
The Roadmap found Maine has made strong progress to advance clean transportation in the past year and is well-positioned for continued results. Recommendations include further incentives and policies to support EV purchasing, particularly for low and moderate-income residents; continued expansion of EV charging in Maine; support for transportation options such as pedestrian and bicycle travel and shared commuting; and community planning that encourages downtown density and connections to public transit. The study and executive summary are available here.
Since 2019, the number of registered electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Maine has increased by more than 90 percent. The number of public EV charging stations has increased by 62 percent, with more stations expected in coming years through federal funding from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“The Clean Transportation Roadmap is a deep dive into strategies to help reduce emissions from our state’s largest source and offers a wealth of policy options to consider as we continue our fight against climate change,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council. “With scientists warning that climate change is now a ‘code red’ for humanity, it’s never been more important to pursue solutions that protect Maine for future generations.”
“The move to clean transportation can reduce costs for Maine drivers, while bringing benefits to Maine, especially as sources of renewable energy increase,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “Maine spends more than $4 billion annually to import fossil fuels and the Clean Transportation Roadmap offers options for how Maine can keep more of that money at home and create long-term climate and economic benefits to the state.”
“In the programs we administer, we have seen solid growth in demand for EVs and EV chargers,” said Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust. “The Clean Transportation Roadmap contributes valuable new modeling about the scale of work we have to do to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles over the coming decade.”
“MaineDOT is working to improve access to a cleaner transit system in Maine,” said Joyce Taylor, Chief Engineer of MaineDOT and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council’s Transportation Working Group. “We are excited to use the Roadmap to help advance this effort, which includes encouraging safe active transportation through a new village program, which will also help improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, and looking at strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled in Maine to help achieve key goals of the state’s climate plan.”
“A cleaner transportation system will benefit our pocketbooks, health and our environment,” said Rob Wood, Director of Government Relations and Climate Policy at The Nature Conservancy in Maine and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council’s Transportation Working Group. “The Roadmap offers steps to make EVs and charging infrastructure more affordable and accessible for all Maine people, and to create a variety of clean transportation options so Mainers across the state can get where they need to go.”
Maine’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, was the culmination of significant steps the Mills Administration has taken to prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change on Maine. Released on December 1, 2020, Maine Won’t Wait reflects the input from thousands of Maine people that produced bold, actionable strategies to address one of Maine’s most pressing long-term problems.
So far in 2021, Maine has reached a record number of electric vehicle registrations (5,677) and sales rebates (1,220), and availability of public EV charging stations (246). Rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are now available from Efficiency Maine, including enhanced rebates for low-income Mainers and municipal EV purchases.
Further, Maine is on track to reach a 2030 goal of using 80 percent renewable energy, one of the most aggressive targets in the country, and an important measure to reduce emissions, dependence on imported fossil fuels, and exposure to volatile global energy markets.