Expanding Access to Fast, Reliable EV Chargers Across Maine

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

You know, more and more drivers across Maine and across the nation are choosing electric vehicles because they're safe, reliable, and they're better for our environment.

But one of the drawbacks I've heard about is something called “range anxiety.” People are concerned they might run out of power in the middle of nowhere, or that it might take too long to charge up and be too far from a charging station. So, Maine and other states need to have a robust charging infrastructure to make sure that you can get there from here.

That's why this week I announced that Maine will open 17 high speed electric vehicle charging stations over the next year as part of my administration's commitment to build an accessible and reliable network of EV chargers. Using funds from my Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and funds from the New England Clean Energy Connect project and other funds from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Maine will be installing 52 new chargers on some of our most heavily traveled roads and highways.

New charging stations will be established in Bangor, Bridgton, Gorham, Greenville, Hermon, Millinocket, Newport, Orono, Rangeley, Portland, Rumford and Windham. These new charging stations along I-95 and Route 2 and 302, for instance, will help commuters feel comfortable switching to electric vehicles and those heavily trafficked roads and provide reliable charging access to visitors traveling across Maine as well, and provide support for outdoor recreation economy, and our university communities who often see visitors and constituents with electric vehicles.

These sites for the charging stations were selected through the Recharge Maine Initiative, and that's a partnership among various state departments – the DOT, the DEP, the Governor's Energy Office, and others. These new sites they selected will build on the extensive work my administration's already done to expand EV charging stations across the state. Since 2019 alone, the number of these public charging stations has more than doubled in Maine.

In January, my administration also announced that Maine had received a separate $15 million grant from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to install 62 Level 3 – those are the fast charging ones, ports. Those can charge a car up to 80% in as little as 20 minutes.

And also, we're installing with that money, 520 Level 2 charging ports at more than 70 sites in Maine, cities and towns across the state. About 63 different communities. These investments will support the president's commitment to build 500,000 public charging stations nationwide by 2030. That will ensure fast, reliable access to EV chargers wherever you drive.

In April, some of the nation's first public charging stations funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opened along U.S. Route one here in Rockland, Maine. Over the next several years, Maine is expected to receive even more funding from two other programs under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out our EV charging network, including 12 million from the National EV Infrastructure Formula Program and 15 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program.

Well, with these funds, the Recharge Maine Initiative hopes to establish fast charging stations every 50 miles or less along Maine's major corridors in urban areas and in rural service centers. This ought to diminish that “range anxiety” that many people have complained about, and having concerns about acquiring an electric vehicle. These stations will be physically accessible to the public any time of day, and year round, and in proper working condition.

I want to thank all four members of our Maine Congressional Delegation for supporting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That's the law that's making these exciting investments possible, as well as so many once-in-a-generation improvements in our roads and bridges.

For more about Maine's commitment to expand EV charging in our state, you can visit the Recharge Maine website at maine.gov/rechargemaine. That’s maine.gov/rechargemaine.

This administration will continue our work to make sure those who drive electric vehicles and those who would like to drive electric vehicles will be assured of reliable access to charging stations across the state and diminish that old “range anxiety.”

This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.