Maine partnership launches electric vehicle rebate program

Published on September 04, 2019 by Chris Galford

© Office of Gov. Janet T. Mills

A partnership between the state of Maine and the Efficiency Maine Trust launched the new Electric Vehicle Accelerator Program last week, which aims to incentivize people to turn electric through vehicle rebates.

“Maine people shell out five billion dollars a year to out-of-state fossil fuel companies, and a lot of that money is spent on gas for vehicles that just becomes carbon dioxide pumped into our atmosphere. We can do better,” Gov. Janet Mills said. “It is time to usher in the next generation of technologies that will move our state towards a renewable future.”

The program has at its disposal $5.1 million, acquired through a settlement with Volkswagen over violating state environmental laws and emissions. The state now intends to pass those funds onto the public, with rebates on Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles of between $1,000 to $2,000. Enhanced rebates will also be offered to low-income households, as well as governmental and tribal governmental entities.

“By increasing our use of electric vehicles, Maine is making substantial and meaningful progress in transitioning us away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources, which will help slash carbon emissions, combat climate change, and save Maine people money,” Mills said. “I am glad to see this funding I won as Attorney General put to good use for Maine people.”

The offer is only available through participating Maine car dealers, but the funds will be provided from there as an instant rebate. Efficiency Maine says the program will help displace inefficient internal combustion engines through higher efficiency vehicles and, as a result, cut dangerous emissions. Energy and maintenance costs should also go own as the state shifts increasingly to electric vehicles.

“We’re excited to be offering a program that will make it more accessible for Mainers to not only save at the pump but to get into an extremely fun ride that is also kind to the climate,” Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine Trust, said. “This is what the future of driving in Maine looks like.”