Maine’s EV Charging Network Expands Northward and Touts Significant New Funding Opportunities
Augusta, Maine – April 12, 2022 – Bangor officials and businesses joined state agencies today to celebrate continued progress in building out strategic segments of Maine’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Specifically, they announced two new DC fast charging stations now open to the public in Bangor and Newport, and new solicitations to increase availability of high-speed EV chargers in Aroostook County, Washington County, the Mid-Coast area, and in Augusta and Bangor.
These new facilities will be open to the public and have the capacity to serve all brands of EVs, building out Maine’s network from the original foundation of fast chargers currently serving the Maine Turnpike, Route 302, Route 201, and parts of Route 2. DC fast chargers can recharge an EV battery to 80 percent in anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s battery voltage capacity.
“We are opening up new frontiers to EV drivers in Maine,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine. “By adding high-speed charging capacity in Newport and Bangor, EV drivers traveling from points south and west can now easily reach the parks around Millinocket and Bar Harbor, or the Canada border crossings at Calais and Houlton.”
Additional locations in Aroostook and Washington counties recently were awarded as part of Phase 4 of the state’s EV infrastructure initiative. DC fast charging stations will be installed at Irving Oil locations in Presque Isle, Fort Kent, and Baileyville, as well as by the Town of Van Buren. Details about these locations can be found in the funding opportunity notice of award.
“We understand the importance of meeting the evolving needs of our customers through the energy we provide and the products and services we offer,” said Darren Gillis, chief marketing officer at Irving Oil. “We’re proud to continue to grow our EV-charging network along key routes in New England and Atlantic Canada, including in the state of Maine with support from Efficiency Maine Trust.”
To further build out the network across Northern Maine, Efficiency Maine recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) to add public chargers in Ashland, Beddington, Danforth, Houlton, and Medway.
A new solicitation to install and operate additional DC fast chargers in select locations along Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1 was released by Efficiency Maine in a funding opportunity (Phase 5) on March 23. This opportunity will be funded through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program and will follow the Maine Plan for EV Infrastructure Deployment published by the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) in July 2022. For full details on this opportunity, visit Efficiency Maine’s website. Applications are due on June 22, 2023.
“Maine is expected to invest more than $27 million in federal funds through the governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in coming years to significantly expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state,” said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “As more electric vehicles take to the roads, and electricity from renewable sources increases in Maine over the coming years, this charging infrastructure will be critical for advancing Maine’s clean energy goals, reducing carbon emissions, and creating new job and economic opportunities.”
“Expanding charging options along our highways and in our communities is critical to help support the increasing EV use we are experiencing in our rural state,” said Joyce Taylor, chief engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation. “This important work is the result of strong partnerships between both public and private entities, as well as increased funding support from lawmakers at both the state and federal levels. Reducing range anxiety for EV users will help reduce the impact the transportation sector has on our climate.”
For longer charging sessions, a funding opportunity was released last month for Level 2 EV chargers that will be available to the public in rural communities in Cumberland County and York County. A previous round awarded funding for 54 projects in all 14 other Maine counties. These Level 2 EV chargers are being funded from $8 million allocated by Governor Janet Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and supplemented by a donation of $150,000 from The Nature Conservancy in Maine to support projects at local government-owned properties and public libraries.
One goal of these initiatives promoting Level 2 chargers is to make EV ownership more convenient in Maine’s rural communities, and another is to enhance those communities’ capacity to attract commerce and tourism as EVs become more prevalent. Level 2 EV chargers add 20 to 40 miles of range per hour, and are suitable for hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and public parking lots where the vehicle can recharge for an hour or longer. For full details on the current funding opportunity, visit Efficiency Maine’s website. Local governments, businesses, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations in eligible towns may apply for the funding opportunity for Level 2 chargers by June 30, 2023.
“Maine’s transition to clean transportation will only succeed if we include rural communities in the process,” said Kate Dempsey, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Efficiency Maine and supporting the installation of publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure in Maine’s rural municipalities, tribal governments, and public libraries.”
To date, Efficiency Maine has helped fund 184 new plugs in Maine’s public EV charging network. A total of 654 Level 2 “community” plugs and 194 DC high-speed charging plugs are publicly available in Maine. Recently, new higher-powered charging units were installed on the Maine Turnpike at the Kennebunk plazas (northbound and southbound) and the West Gardiner plaza, which means each charger can provide up to 200 kilowatts of charge to a vehicle and adjust its charging capacity depending on whether one or two vehicles are connected to it. Consumers can find all of these charger locations using the charging station locator on the Efficiency Maine website.
Efficiency Maine’s website provides a one-stop shop for information about EVs, rebates, and charging infrastructure to help Maine consumers become more comfortable with EVs. It features an online EV educational video library for Maine residents, businesses, and property owners, as well as a list of eligible vehicles, participating EV dealers, and vehicle cost calculator.
Mainers also can find extensive written materials on the agency’s EV web pages, including two guidebooks that provide useful information and tips for current and prospective EV owners – “How to Select and Install a Home Electric Vehicle Charger” and “How to Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Home and Away.” A third guidebook, “Installing Level 2 Electric Vehicle Chargers,” provides information for commercial, government, and institutional property owners who are assessing whether, where, and how to install Level 2 EV charging stations on their property.
About Efficiency Maine Trust
The Efficiency Maine Trust (Efficiency Maine) is the independent, quasi-state agency established to plan and implement energy efficiency programs in Maine. Through its suite of nationally recognized programs, Efficiency Maine provides consumer information, marketing support, demonstration pilots, discounts, rebates, loans, and other initiatives to promote high-efficiency equipment and operations that help Maine’s homes, businesses, and institutions reduce their energy costs and lower their greenhouse gas emissions. The result is job growth, better grid reliability, improved energy independence, a stronger local economy, and critical progress toward meeting the State’s climate change goals. Efficiency Maine is governed by a Board of Trustees with oversight from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Visit www.efficiencymaine.com for more information.
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Kate Rankin, Senior Communications Manager
Efficiency Maine Trust