Apr. 2—Gov. Janet Mills has issued an executive order instructing state agencies to develop a "clean transportation roadmap" to achieve the state's goal of increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road in Maine by 2030.
The plan, to be drafted by the Governor's Energy Office and the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, is due on Mills' desk by Dec. 30.
Reducing emissions from transportation — the source of more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Maine — is a key element of Maine's overall effort to curb emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030. The state's climate action plan, called Maine Won't Wait, estimates the state needs 219,000 light-duty electric vehicles on the road by 2030 to meet its emissions targets.
"Growing the number of clean vehicles in Maine to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation is a key opportunity to address climate change in Maine," said Hannah Pingree, director of the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council, in a statement. "The clean transportation roadmap will make recommendations to ensure Maine consumers have affordable options for (electric vehicles) and access to charging infrastructure that meets the needs of rural and urban drivers alike."
Electric vehicles account for fewer than 1 percent of registered vehicles in Maine, according to a news release issued Friday by the governor's office. Still, their numbers are expected to grow in coming years as a result of advancing technology, cost reductions, increasing consumer demand and commitments from the federal government, state governments and major auto manufacturers to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, it said.
"A clean transportation roadmap is a proactive step that will allow Maine to address future transportation needs while contributing to the work against climate change," said Bruce Van Note, commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation, in a statement. "Increased consumer interest in electric vehicles coupled with delivery commitments from automakers will help put us on a path to a clean transportation future."
The governor on Tuesday released a "Lead by Example" report by two state agencies outlining steps state government can take to become more energy efficient and increase environmental and sustainable practices. Mills said the steps will reduce operating costs, support state employees and fight climate change.
Mills said Mainers are making changes in their homes and businesses to cut their energy bills, reduce fossil fuel use and minimize their contributions to climate change.