In Maine, transportation is the largest contributor to emissions. It’s responsible for 49% of our annual greenhouse gas emissions, with 59% coming from passenger cars and trucks. Electrification of the transportation sector, then, is a critical solution in the transition away from polluting fossil fuels: electric vehicles will help unlock our clean energy future.

EVs bring a trifecta of benefits – emissions mitigation, cost reduction, and energy independence. EVs cost less to operate and maintain and are on average more affordable when comparing the average cost of gas to that of electric charging. Even more, increased EV adoption would make the United States more energy independent from the volatile global oil market.

The electric vehicle market is rapidly transforming. Billions in funding has become available for electric vehicles and affiliated charging infrastructure from federal funding and manufacturers themselves, who have announced $210 billion of investments in the electric vehicle industry, up from just over $50 billion in 2021. These investments will further drive sales rates, which are rapidly changing. The U.S. recently surpassed selling three million EVs, but while it took ten years to sell the first million, it took only two to sell the second, and just about a year to sell the third.

As our state’s decision makers grapple with electrifying our transportation system and the adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II standards, they must dispel the myth that the grid can’t handle it. As someone working on the electrification of our transportation sector every day, I believe we can make this transition.

We’ve adapted the grid before. Over time, the grid has evolved to accommodate more products, such as air conditioners. In 1989, this resulted in New England’s peak energy usage shifting from winter to summer given a simultaneous decline in electric heating. This example is not unlike what’s before us today – the addition of EV load will be happening alongside reductions in other types of energy usage, such as through energy efficient technologies like LED lighting or the use of heat pumps.

Last year, ISO New England released its 2023 forecast predicting that the electrification of transportation in the region over the next ten years will only increase energy needs by approximately 9.5%. When we break that down by year, that means we only need to increase our regional energy supply by less than 1% a year. ISO New England’s forecast then, anticipates we can generate the power we need to electrify Maine’s vehicles.


When it comes to distribution, we must ensure that our grid can accommodate peak demand as ISO New England predicts that our region will see a “1.1% average annual increase in summer peaks… through 2032,” due to electrification of transportation. Fortunately, EV charging is perhaps the most flexible electric load – we can charge cars whenever it makes the most sense to – which smooths demand. And, if we need upgrades in our existing transmission and distribution system, our utilities are structured in which they are inherently motivated to build infrastructure.

Even more, Maine is already moving toward bettering grid management. The Legislature recently passed a bill requiring the Maine Public Utilities Commission to consider time of use rates to incentivize consumers to use electricity at non-peak times (such as charging your EV in the middle of the night). Additionally, the PUC has open dockets on grid modernization and planning to determine the best mechanisms for building our grid to accommodate these anticipated changes. These policy and regulatory moves are setting us up for success.

This year, Maine has the opportunity to accelerate this vision.

We ask the Board of Environmental Protection to join us and advance the Advanced Clean Cars II Program in our state. We can do this.

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