Maine legislature considers EV incentives

The Maine State Legislature is considering several measures that could create new incentives for purchasing or leasing electric vehicles.

At least two bills proposing new incentives for electric vehicles have been printed so far:
  • LD 604, An Act To Create an Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: Sponsored by Senator Chenette, this bill would provide an income tax credit for the purchase of a new plug-in electric-drive motor vehicle that is eligible for a federal income tax credit. The credit would be $300 plus $50 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt-hours, up to a maximum credit of $1,500. (As a point of reference, the base model 2019 Nissan Leaf comes with a 40-kilowatt battery.) LD 604 has been referred to the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Taxation.
  • LD 614, An Act To Provide Purchase Rebates for Battery Electric Vehicles: Sponsored by Representative Henry Ingwersen, this bill would establish an "Electric Vehicle Rebate Fund" to be administered by the Efficiency Maine Trust. The bill would direct the Trust to create a program, beginning July 1, 2020, that would pay a direct rebate of $2,500 to Maine residents who purchase or lease an eligible electric vehicle and meet certain criteria, including a certification of intent to retain ownership of the electric vehicle (through purchase or lease) for at least 36 months. The program would be limited to fully electric, zero-emission vehicles that have an on-board electrical energy storage device that is designed to be recharged using an external energy source. LD 614 has been referred to the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.
More bills proposing incentives for electric vehicle adoption could still surface later in the Maine legislative session. For example, a list of legislative requests submitted by legislators includes LR 1380, An Act To Encourage Municipalities, State Agencies, Colleges and Universities To Adopt Electric Vehicles.

Outside Maine, a number of other states offer incentives for electric vehicle adoption. Additionally, the federal Internal Revenue Service offers a tax credit for qualifying electric vehicles, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the U.S., depending on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity.