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Environment and Outdoors

Maine PUC Creates Half-Million Dollar Program For Buildout Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Nick Ut
AP File
In this Dec. 13, 2013 file photo, electric cars from Nissan, Tesla and Toyota are presented at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is creating a half-million dollar pilot program to encourage the buildout of electric vehicle charging stations in Maine. Roughly half the funds will allow the Efficiency Maine Trust to provide rebates of $4,000 for the purchase and installation of 60 publicly accessible charging stations.

"That's probably somewhere between one-half and one-third of the total cost for an individual station," says Michael Stoddard, the executive director of the Trust, which was also awarded $55,000 to educate consumers about electric vehicle ownership.

And in addition to the new effort by the Trust, state regulators are giving Central Maine Power oversight of $4,000 subsidies for the installation of electrical infrastructure to serve another 60 charging stations.

The pilot programs were mandated by the Legislature, and they will be funded by electricity consumers through their bills. Environmental groups are praising the Public Utilities Commission's efforts to find the best ways to facilitate what's called the "electrification" of transportation in Maine. They also say they wish the regulators had gone further.