Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order Friday calling for a clean transportation roadmap to sharply increase the number of electric vehicles on Maine’s roads by 2030 in an aim to accelerate meeting the state’s climate goals.
The order by the Democratic governor comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal, which includes $174 billion to build half a million electric vehicle charging stations across the country and electrify 20 percent of school buses and the federal fleet, including U.S. postal vehicles.
The roadmap, which will include recommendations to enhance the electric vehicle market in Maine and evaluate the effects on electric utilities and the grid, is due by Dec. 30. Transportation is the source of more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Maine, so reducing them is a key piece of Maine’s goal to curb emissions by 45 percent by 2030. The state’s climate action plan estimates Maine needs 219,000 light-duty electric vehicles on the road by 2030 to meet its targets.
Those vehicles currently account for fewer than 1 percent of registered vehicles in Maine. However, the number of vehicles is expected to grow with technology advances, cost reductions, increasing consumer demand and commitments from the federal infrastructure plan, state governments and automakers to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and the Governor’s Energy Office will lead work on the roadmap in collaboration with the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Efficiency Maine Trust. Dan Burgess, director of the energy office, said the roadmap will start to address effects on the grid and rate design.
“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,” Hannah Pingree, director of Mills’ innovation office, said in a statement.
The executive order also follows the release Tuesday of the state’s sustainability plan, which establishes climate, clean energy and clean transportation targets for state agencies. To support that plan, the Efficiency Maine Trust said this week that $200,000 of Volkswagen settlement funds will be available to install publicly available electric vehicle charging stations at state office locations.