Governor Janet Mills’ administration recommended new strategies to accelerate the use of electric vehicles this week, but said more money was needed as the state will rely heavily on emerging vehicles to reach the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.

The new clean transport roadmap, required under a Executive Decree by the Democratic governor in April, says Maine has made progress since 2019 by increasing battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 90% to 5,577 vehicles and public charging stations by 65% ​​at 265 locations.

But there is still work to be done, and thorny policy questions of how to generate more money for the initiatives must be resolved before reducing the amount of fossil fuel emissions in Maine’s transportation sector, which produces more. half of these emissions. Maine needs 219,000 light electric vehicles on the road by 2030 to meet its goals.

The roadmap comes after a national study published in February found that Maine needs to accelerate its plans to get more electric vehicles on the road in order to cut emissions and save fuel. That same month, President Joe Biden made electric vehicles the centerpiece of his climate plan with the goal of converting an estimated 645,000 postal trucks and passenger vehicles to all-electric and urging US companies to build a network of 500 000 charging stations.

The Mills administration said the state has limited funds to meet its goals, including only $ 19 million to expand charging infrastructure through 2025 through the federal law on investment in the infrastructure and employment. If the state were to fund new charging stations on its own, it would need $ 7.7 million next year and $ 17.6 million in 2025, and it does not have those amounts.

Achieving the overall clean energy goals also requires regional cooperation, the experts said, and this has been difficult to achieve. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently withdrew from a multi-state pact to cut carbon emissions, citing a lack of buy-in among other states in the northeast and central Atlantic , according to WBUR.

The multistate pact is currently “frozen with political inertia across New England,” said Jeff Marks, Maine director of the Acadia Center, who led the project, which Mills never actively joined, said. fearing that a financing solution would fall hard on rural areas. Mainer.

“The clean transportation roadmap is a good start, but it will need political, technological and financial capital to move it in the right direction,” Marks said.

The Mills administration’s plan could still be controversial. He opens the door to new methods of financing that could be politically unpleasant, noting that the state could generate more money to fund key initiatives by increasing the tax on gasoline or adding a tax on the kilometers driven by the vehicles.

Tackling energy issues in transportation is important to Maine, Marks said. It is among the top 10 states in terms of money spent per capita on energy, with the highest proportion going to transport. The volatility of gasoline and diesel fuel prices due to global, national and regional constraints brings additional economic uncertainty to Mainers, he said.

Maine spends more than $ 4 billion a year importing fossil fuels, said Dan Burgess, director of the governor’s office of energy.

“The Clean Transportation Roadmap offers options for how Maine can keep more of this money at home and create long-term climate and economic benefits for the state,” said Burgess.


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