Maine’s Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Network Expands to the North and East
Augusta, Maine – June 3, 2021 – Efficiency Maine has announced seven awards to place new high-speed electric vehicle (EV) chargers at strategic locations serving communities in central and eastern Maine between Lewiston-Auburn and Bangor on Interstate 95, and from Belfast to Ellsworth along coastal Route 1. With these additions, Maine’s universally accessible, high-speed EV charger network will connect Bangor, mid-coast Maine, and Acadia to drivers traveling to and from southern New England and the State’s western border.
Installation of high-speed EV chargers at these locations will fully commit the balance of the $3.15 million in Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds that Maine dedicated to EV infrastructure. In 2018, the Maine Department of Transportation selected Efficiency Maine to administer the EV infrastructure initiative with the settlement funds resulting from a successful lawsuit against VW for violation of environmental protection laws. Further expansion of the high-speed network, including to Northern Maine and further Downeast, is planned over the next several years.
Under the terms of the awards, two high-speed chargers, each at least 50 kW in capacity and universally accessible (offering both CHAdeMO and CCS plugs), will be installed over the next year at each of the following businesses:
- Hannaford Supermarket, High St., Ellsworth (project owned by Revision Energy)
- Hannaford Supermarket, Lincolnville Ave., Belfast (project owned by Revision Energy)
- Irving Oil, Odlin Rd., Bangor
- Irving Oil, Moosehead Trail, Newport
- Irving Oil, Center St., Fairfield
- Irving Oil, Washington St., Auburn
- Petronino Corp. (On the Way), Lisbon St., Lewiston
“Over the last three years, Efficiency Maine has used Volkswagen settlement funds to install electric vehicle chargers in communities across Maine, expanding cleaner transportation options for Maine people, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fighting climate change,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As electric vehicles become more common, Maine must continue to expand its charging network, which is why I am proposing $8 million through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for EV charging infrastructure. By making it easier to charge an EV anywhere in Maine, we will strengthen our economy and reduce harmful carbon emissions. I applaud Efficiency Maine for reaching this milestone and for its many contributions toward energy efficiency and climate action in Maine.”
“It’s significant that we were able to attract these high quality, well-trafficked locations within 30 miles of other fast chargers, and that some of the major gas stations are diversifying their business strategies by adding EV charging,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of the Efficiency Maine Trust. “When we get gas stations and grocery stores playing host to EV chargers, we know that the sites are strategically located, the owners know how to cater to drivers, and the transition to electric is getting serious.”
This initiative has been developed by Efficiency Maine in collaboration with the governor’s office and the Maine Department of Transportation to align on the state’s progress toward EV adoption.
“At the Maine Department of Transportation, our partnership with the Efficiency Maine Trust is helping find real solutions to the challenges that arise as drivers look to transition to electric vehicles,” said Bruce Van Note, commissioner of MaineDOT. “We are pleased that the installation of these new high-speed charging stations will begin to fill in the gaps in central and eastern Maine, and we look forward to future connections in more of our state’s rural reaches.”
Bidding for this latest round of grants attracted eight companies that proposed 20 different locations. Among them, Irving Oil was chosen to install fast-charging stations at four locations for their strategic value and convenience to drivers.
“We are so pleased to be working in partnership with Efficiency Maine to expand our EV charging network in the state,” said Tyler McLaughlin, Irving Oil Director of Retail Operations. “As the leading EV fast-charging host in Atlantic Canada, we work hard to meet the evolving needs of our customers through the energy we provide and the products and services we offer. We will continue to seek out new opportunities to support our customers making the transition to zero-emissions vehicles.”
Petronino Corporation, the owner of the On the Way convenience store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, was also awarded a grant. “As the world evolves, it’s important to offer our customers clean transportation options in our efforts to continue to satisfy the needs of the diverse clientele of our On the Way convenience store,” said Salim Naous, president of Petronino Corporation.
Two of the new charger systems will be owned and operated by ReVision Energy. “ReVision Energy is delighted to continue our partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets to bring publicly accessible EV charging to more of Maine,” said Fortunat Mueller, co-founder and president of ReVision Energy. “There are more and more EV’s on the road all the time and both year round residents and visitors to the mid-coast region will benefit from having additional charging options to choose from conveniently located in places they already visit.”
In 2018, Efficiency Maine awarded a grant to ChargePoint to install high-speed charging for the first phase of the initiative. A high-speed charger typically can add 200 to 250 miles of range per hour. ChargePoint installed and now operates high-speed EV chargers (also called “Level 3” chargers or “DC fast chargers”) on the Maine Turnpike at the Kennebunk plazas (northbound and southbound) and the West Gardiner plaza, as well as in Jackman, Skowhegan, Farmington and North Windham. The first phase of establishing Maine’s universally accessible, fast-charger network was completed in April 2021.
Efficiency Maine issued a request for proposals on February 5, 2021 for additional electric vehicle fast charging stations to serve communities along I-95 from Waterville to Bangor/Brewer; Route 1 from Rockland to Ellsworth; and in Lewiston-Auburn. Awards were announced on May 14.
In addition to installing these publicly accessible fast chargers, Efficiency Maine also is supporting the expansion of lower-cost, public Level 2 chargers in other strategic locations across the state. Level 2 chargers are most commonly installed in homes, as well as at workplaces and public spaces. These units can provide between 14 and 35 miles of range per hour and are often used when a car can be left plugged in for longer periods of time. All Level 2 chargers have a universal “J” plug and connect to all electric vehicle models.
Adding publicly available Level 2 chargers improves local access and destination charging across the state. These charger plugs serve commuters, local drivers, business people driving to and from meetings and appointments, and overnight guests. To date, Efficiency Maine has helped fund more than 140 new level 2 plugs in Maine’s public EV charging network, which has now grown to a total of 120 DC high-speed charging plugs and 375 Level 2 “community” plugs.
Efficiency Maine administers programs to expand availability of EV charging infrastructure and the adoption of electric vehicles in Maine. Its programs provide instant rebates for eligible battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) at participating car dealers in Maine, as well as grants to fund the installation of EV charging infrastructure in public areas, workplaces, and multi-unit dwellings in Maine.
To learn more about electric vehicle technology and how to maximize its benefits visit www.efficiencymaine.com/ev. Drivers also can find a charging station locator on the Efficiency Maine website or by using a variety of available smartphone apps.
About Efficiency Maine Trust
Efficiency Maine Trust is the independent administrator for programs to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce greenhouse gases in Maine. The Trust does this primarily by delivering financial incentives on the purchase of high-efficiency equipment or changes to operations that help customers save electricity, natural gas, and other fuels throughout the Maine economy. The Trust is a quasi-state agency governed by a Board of Trustees with oversight from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Visit www.efficiencymaine.com for more information.
# # #
Efficiency Maine Trust