Mills: Maine will spend $2.55 million helping 900 people buy electric cars

Governor Janet Mills has announced the state of Maine will spend $2.55 million helping 900 people purchase electric vehicles, and about the same amount helping public agencies and organizations do the same.

AUGUSTA – Maine Governor Janet Mills announced today that half of the funds from a $5.1 million settlement with Volkswagen will be put into a rebate program to help about 900 individuals purchase new electric vehicles.

The rebates will be managed and issued by Efficiency Maine.

About an equal amount will be spent providing incentives to public agencies and organizations that assist the elderly, low-income Mainers and those with special needs to purchase electric vehicles for their organizations.

Electric cars range in price from the lower cost Hyundai Ionix ($30,315) and Chevy Bolt ($36,620) up to the high end Tesla Model X and Model S, which both push close to $90,000 and the Tesla Roadster which carries an MSRP starting at $200,000.

Doing the math, those roughly 900 people able to cash in on the rebate are likely to see on average a state subsidy of about $2,700 for their purchase of a new vehicle.

According to the statement from Governor Mills, only about 450 electric vehicles are on the road in Maine as of now. That number is likely low due to concerns about the range and performance of the vehicles in Maine’s very cold winters.

While some strongly support the expansion electric vehicles, seeing them as a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation, others have pointed out that the production cost of EV batteries relies heavily on mining, and in some cases, such as this report from CBS, child labor, which have negative environmental and social consequences respectively.

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