Maine Public Utilities Commission approves initiatives to boost EV use

Published on February 28, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved Tuesday four initiatives that seek to drive increased usage of electric vehicles.

“The Commission is pleased to make these awards today to support electrification of the transportation sector. All four initiatives will benefit and support electric vehicles (EV) in Maine consistent with the statute,” said Commission Chairman Philip L. Bartlett, said.

Each of the four pilot programs will inform future policies to support EV deployment in the state.

One is a rebate program run by Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) for L2 electric vehicle charging stations. Specifically, 60 rebates will be provided for $4,000 each, for a total of $240,000.

Also, EMT will create how-to manuals for prospective and recent EV owners, as well as a series of instructional videos to show the crucial elements of EV ownership. Further, the company will host 20 show and tell events throughout the state, which would include opportunities for attendees to drive or ride in an EV. The combined cost of these efforts is $55,050.

Another initiative is a program run by Central Maine Power (CMP) to provide $4,000 for the electrical infrastructure required to provide for 60 L2 electric vehicle charging stations. This program will be offered as an alternative to the EMT rebate program as a means of learning which approach the host site customers prefer.

CMP will also offer reduced demand charges to encourage the installation of L3 electric vehicle charging stations.

An L2 charger takes about eight hours to charge an EV and is usually located at workplaces, homes, or retail locations. An L3 charger can charge an EV at a much faster rate, generally around 20 minutes. These are generally placed at a public location such as a highway rest-stop.