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Maine to open 17 new high-speed EV charging stations

This 2018 photo shows a Chevrolet Volt hybrid car charging at a ChargePoint charging station at a parking garage in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel
This 2018 photo shows a Chevrolet Volt hybrid car charging at a ChargePoint charging station at a parking garage in Los Angeles.

Governor Mills announced on Wednesday the state will construct 17 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state next year. It comes as part of the Recharge Maine Initiative to create an accessible EV charging network across the state.

The 17 locations will come equipped with Level 3 fast chargers — the fastest class of EV charging with the ability to charge a car between 30 and 90 minutes. In total the effort will add 52 of these high-speed chargers.

Maine’s EV network currently has over 1,000 chargers across some 500 locations. Michael Stoddard, the Executive Director for Efficiency Maine, said the organization selected the locations from proposals submitted as part of the program’s competitive bidding process.

“We wanted to prioritize the addition of new EV charging capacity in certain communities where we could see there were gaps along the highway or along the major routes in charger availability," said Stoddard. "And so we specifically requested proposals in those communities or those locations.”

Stoddard stated installing these charging stations especially in rural areas is vital in encouraging Mainers to make the switch to vehicles.

“So whether they are in the market for a car in 2024, or several years from now, we want them to look at the map and say, this is going to be fine. There’s enough public chargers around this state that if I need a recharge in the course of a long trip, I will be able to reach one of these places and get the charge that I need.”

The total investment costs are around $8.5 million for the installation. $5.7 million comes from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program formed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The remaining $2.8 million comes from Governor Mills' Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan.

Stoddard said he expects the chargers to be operating by next summer.

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.

Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.