Launch of new charging station builds out state’s EV infrastructure to help usher in more electric vehicles, save Maine people money on expensive fossil fuels, and reduce CO2 emissions to fight climate change
Augusta, ME (STL.News) Joined by Efficiency Maine Trust, the Maine Turnpike Authority, and municipal officials, Maine Governor Janet Mills Friday officially unveiled a new public-use electric vehicle (EV) charging station at the West Gardiner Turnpike Plaza and announced incentive awards to 23 municipalities to install 47 new charging stations across the state for the public. The charging station unveiled Friday in West Gardiner, along with the awards to install more across Maine, is another step forward in Governor Mills’ ongoing work with Efficiency Maine Trust to expand the use of EVs, save Maine people money on fuel costs, and reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
“Too many Maine people are at the mercy of the gas pump and its prices. It is time to break the stranglehold that fossil fuel companies have over our wallets and put that money back into the pockets of Maine people,” said Governor Mills. “By expanding the network of charging stations, our state is making electric vehicles a reality for more people, helping them save money on fuel costs, and protecting our environment from harmful carbon emissions – a hat-trick for Maine.”
“Charging infrastructure and rebates for electric vehicles are both critical ways Maine is working to transition its transportation system into the 21st century,” said Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine Trust. “This charging station in West Gardiner will serve regular commuters to and from Augusta as well as out-of-state visitors. The sites we have been developing have been chosen to promote EV commuting and support the growing number of visitors driving EVs.”
“West Gardiner is the perfect location for a fast charger in Maine,” said Peter Mills, Executive Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority. “It’s at the confluence of Maine’s two major Interstate highways and there is always a restaurant open round the clock.”
The West Gardiner charging station is a so-called fast charger (also known as a Level 3 charger or DC Fast Charger) which is the fastest kind of EV charging available. Typical charge times for a full battery range from 20 minutes to an hour and can deliver up to 250 miles of range per hour. The site is one of several locations within key travel corridors (PDF) that Efficiency Maine is developing as “anchor sites” for a growing EV charging network. To date, the network includes seven anchor sites with 14 fast chargers.
Additionally, through its 23 incentive awards, Efficiency Maine is helping install 47 public “Level 2” charging stations in strategic locations across the state, including:
- International Motel, Calais
- Down East Community Partners, Milbridge
- Indian Hill Trading Post, Greenville
- Northern Maine Medical Center, Fort Kent
- Town of Fort Kent, Downtown Fort Kent
- Bates College, Lewiston
- Bowdoin College, Brunswick
- City of Auburn
- City of Bangor
- City of Bath
- City of Belfast
- City of Portland (Back Cove)
- City of Portland (City Hall)
- City of Portland (High Street)
- City of Portland (Payson Park)
- City of Portland (Westbrook Street)
- City of Rockland
- College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor
- Falmouth School District, Falmouth
- Holiday Inn Bangor, Bangor
- Maine State Housing Authority, Augusta
- Town of Skowhegan
- Unum, Portland
“The Town of Skowhegan is very excited about being awarded the Efficiency Maine, Vehicle Charging Station Grant,” said Christine Almand, Skowhegan Town Manager. “This project pairs well with our Run of River project to help make Skowhegan a destination. We can’t wait to install these in our downtown. With the help of Efficiency Maine, we are also in the process of completing an extensive energy project that includes building upgrades and LED street lighting. These are smart energy choices that help to lower the tax burden and to ensure a sustainable future.”
“More and more electric cars are on the road so these new charging sites will provide residents and tourists alike the security in knowing an “electric fill up” is available in Fort Kent,” said Steve Pelletier, Director, Planning and Economic Development, Town of Fort Kent. “The Town and NMMC are excited for the opportunity to add electric car chargers at the Municipal Building and the Hospital. The municipal site in in close proximity to the International Bridge that links the community to our Canadian neighbors, and the America’s First Mile Monument, that draws thousands of visitors each year. The NMMC site is adjacent to Route 1 and in addition to the hospital, the chargers are in close proximity to the Fish River Rural Health Clinic, Forest Hill Nursing Home and Rehab Center, and Pelletier Ford and Dodge. Both sites are very visible where they can be accessed 24/7.”
“This grant makes it possible for us to install an EV charger in the heart of Rockland’s historic downtown with all it has to offer — and at a location that is convenient to residents, visitors, and a wide range of employers . . . It is one of many ways that Efficiency Maine is helping municipalities to advance their sustainability goals,” said Julie Hashem, Community Development Director, City of Rockland.
“The City of Bangor is thrilled to be working with Efficiency Maine to locate a level 2 charging station in our Pickering Square parking garage,” said Tanya L. Emery, Director, Community and Economic Development, City of Bangor. “The parking garage is critical to our downtown, and offering all the options consumers want makes it a greater community resource. We will include the charger as part of our renovations to the garage. This allows downtown Bangor to become part of the public infrastructure for electric vehicle drivers, whether they are residents or visitors. The City looks forward to welcoming electric vehicle drivers and thanks Efficiency Maine for the assistance to make this project happen.”
These chargers will continue to fill in Maine’s growing EV charging infrastructure while supporting both local and visiting electric vehicle drivers.
The effort to expand Maine’s EV charging infrastructure is paired with the Efficiency Maine EV Accelerator Program, which Governor Mills and Efficiency Maine Executive Director Michael Stoddard announced last month, and which provides instant rebates for qualifying Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles at participating car dealers in Maine. The goals of the initiatives are 1) to strengthen Maine’s economy by reducing the amount of money Maine drivers are forced to spend on fossil fuels for their vehicles; 2) to fight climate change by reducing the amount of CO2 emitted into the air by vehicles; and 3) to promote tourism from neighboring provinces and states.