AUGUSTA — Central Maine Power has awarded grants for Level 2 chargers for Electric Vehicles at 11 locations, offering 48 new plugs in Maine from Kittery to Monson. CMP will install, maintain and retain ownership of the electrical infrastructure needed to connect to the charging pads and has awarded incentives for up to $4,000 per plug toward the cost of the infrastructure. A total of 60 charging plugs will be funded upon completion of the grant awards. The program is part of a pilot launched in 2020 by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to better understand incentives for installing chargers and is targeted to business and municipal customers intending to install several chargers.
“CMP launched this incentive program in September 2020 and we are thrilled to see the level of interest in installing these chargers,” said Jason Rauch, energy, environmental and regulatory policy manager for CMP. “From municipalities and hospitals to ski areas and casinos– the diversity of interest and commitment to supporting the expansion of EV’s in Maine is really encouraging as we tackle the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
ReVision Energy is partnering with CMP to perform the infrastructure installation during the pilot. The companies expect to begin installations this summer.
“Today, Maine has the highest per capita carbon emissions in New England and more than 50 percent of our pollution comes from tailpipe exhaust. ReVision Energy is grateful for this opportunity to partner with CMP to expand Mainers’ access to electric vehicle charging stations, which is a proven strategy to increase adoption of EV’s while decreasing both fuel costs and tailpipe emissions. Most people don’t yet realize that sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. are already far outpacing sales of the Prius hybrid when it first launched in 1997, which means that battery electric EV’s are quickly going to be as ubiquitous as the hybrids of yore,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy.
The pilot was approved by the MPUC to promote the beneficial electrification of the transportation sector, an outcome of a legislative package passed by the Maine State Legislature in 2019 and is intended for applicants installing chargers in workplaces and other public and commercial spaces.
According to the Eighth Biennial Report on Progress Toward Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine’s transportation sector accounts for 54 percent of the state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. To meet emissions reductions goals of 45 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, established in the Maine Climate Action plan, Maine must “pivot to the future by pursuing aggressive transition strategies and innovative solutions within this important sector.”
Grant recipients were selected through ranking applications based on criteria approved by the MPUC including overall strategic value, likelihood of usage, cost of installation and readiness of the customer to move forward. Through an open enrollment process online, CMP reviewed 47 applications. Eligible locations included workplaces, multi-unit residential dwellings and public access sites. CMP collaborated with Efficiency Maine Trust, the Greater Portland Council of Governments and Drive Electric Maine who hosted educational webinars.
According to BloombergNEF’s annual Electric Vehicle Outlook, EV sales across the country rose by 80 percent in 2019, and the Department of Energy predicts that EV’s will make up 28 percent of registered vehicles in Maine in 2030 and 58 percent by 2045. The DOE also reports that to support a target of 41,000 light-duty EVs in Maine by 2025, there will need to be approximately 2,900 Level 2 charging ports across workplaces and publicly accessible destinations.