Electric vehicles have arrived in a big way, and this is great news for Maine!
A new generation of plug-in cars is taking advantage of cleaner electricity to reduce costs for consumers, help protect our air and climate, and strengthen our economy by switching from gasoline imports to local sources of power. There are a wide variety of electric vehicles available, some of which are all-electric. Some can run on gasoline, too—but all of them can be plugged in to run on electricity for most or all of the time.
Electric Vehicles in Maine
There are electric vehicle owners in every county in Maine, and 130 charging stations, with that number growing rapidly. While most car charging is done at home overnight, fast-evolving technology has brought phone apps like Plugshare that can pinpoint your location and tell you where the nearest charging stations are, so you can always find a charge.
In 2014, a survey of Maine EV owners found that the top two reasons for purchasing an EV were to save money on gasoline (63%) and reduce air/climate pollution (63%). Respondents also cited reducing use of foreign oil (28%) and interest in new technology (28%) as a reason for their purchase of an EV.
Why Drive Electric Vehicles in Maine?
There are many benefits to driving electric vehicles in Maine:
- Save Money
- Improve Air Quality & Reduce Climate-changing Pollution
- Stand Up for Energy Independence
- Enjoy More Stable Prices
- Have Fun Driving!
The price of electric cars and conventional cars is now about the same, especially after the federal tax credit that could save you between $2,500 and $7,500. Once you own an electric vehicle, it costs half as much to drive as a conventional vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So, with little or no gasoline or oil changes to budget for, and the inexpensive amount of electricity they consume, you’ll be saving money right away. Like solar panels on a home, the energy you use is free, once you’ve made the initial investment.
Improve Air Quality
Burning gasoline in cars and trucks is the largest source of global warming pollution in Maine. This is also a significant source of other air pollutants that harm our health. Electric cars, however, produce little to no tailpipe emissions and can be fueled by cleaner electricity. Maine’s natural resource-based economy depends on clean air and a healthy climate, so by switching to an electric vehicle (EV) you can help protect Maine’s environment and economy while reducing air pollution. Plus, if you charge your car off solar panels, your EV uses clean energy with greater environmental benefits and supports local jobs, too.
Stand Up for Energy Independence
Each year Mainers send billions of dollars out of state to buy fossil fuels, much of it for our cars. Using electricity for transportation cuts our dependence on foreign oil, the price of which is far more volatile than that of electricity. Of course, while Maine does not have any oil wells or gas fields, we have many clean renewable “fuels,” like solar, wind, and water, which can be used to create Maine-grown electricity.
Enjoy More Stable Prices
Relying on petroleum leaves Mainers vulnerable to price spikes. Fortunately, electricity costs are more stable than gas prices, so charging your electric vehicle will be a more predictable cost for which it is easier to plan.
Have Fun Driving!
Electric vehicles are fun to drive. If you haven’t tried driving one before, call a local car dealership and ask if they have EVs you can test drive. More and more manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and Tesla, are carrying a variety of electric vehicles. See our Buying Guide for Cleaner Cars for more information about purchasing electric vehicles in Maine.
National Clean Car Standards
Maine is one of nine ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) states that adopted stronger standards to reduce vehicle pollution and promote the sale of electric vehicles. Fossil fuel lobbyists and their supporters in Congress and the White House are attacking these critical standards, which are needed to reduce climate pollution and stimulate innovation and new technologies.
If manufacturers don’t make cleaner, more efficient vehicles, American families will feel it at the gas pump—as they unnecessarily spend billions of dollars every year on gas.
We need your help to urge Maine’s Congressional delegation to work at the national level for cleaner transportation for our health, our economy, and our future.
Cleaner cars mean cleaner air, less global warming pollution, less dependence on imported oil, and the opportunity to fuel your transportation on 100% renewable energy.
Sometimes, you can walk, ride your bike, use public transportation, or carpool, and those are all great ways to achieve the above goals. Maine is a pretty rural state though, and cars are a necessary part of most people’s lives. So, consider choosing a plug-in electric vehicle to save money on fuel costs and protect Maine’s environmental future by reducing air pollution.
Considering an Electric Car? Check Out These Resources:
- Guides to plug-in electric cars
- Guide to buying home electric vehicle chargers
- Guide to full electric and electric plug-in cars available
- Guide to installing an electric vehicle charger at your business or place of employment
- Transportation information hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy