Summit of Katahdin mountain - by Staff
Staff

Our Campaigns

Recharge Where You Recharge

Mainers should not have to choose between having an electric vehicle and visiting the parks they love. We need to make it easy to recharge our cars where we recharge our souls.
From the mountains to the coast, Maine is blessed with beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife.
Our state parks and historical sites are the places where Mainers go to get into nature, whether in a kayak, on a bike, or carried by their own two feet. These refuges are where Mainers go to recharge their spirits. As Rachel Carson said, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.”
Hiking at Tumbledown Mountain
Staff
Transportation emissions are the largest source of air pollution

For so many of us, our parks are what make our state so special. But right now, they’re being harmed by air pollution and a rapidly changing climate. For example, the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than 99% of ocean waters. The rapid increase in temperature harms ecosystems, wildlife and fisheries across our coast. Warmer and shorter winters has led to an increase in tick-borne illnesses. Sea level rise and increased flooding is set to cause extensive damage to dunes, bluffs, salt marshes, and more.

To ensure our communities and wild places stay protected, we need cleaner air and a stable climate. That will require us to address transportation — right now, the way we get around is the largest source of global warming emissions across the U.S and in Maine. In Maine, transportation accounts for a massive 54% of all global warming pollution.

One of the best ways to curb pollution is to replace gasoline powered vehicles with electric vehicles. The average electric vehicle in Maine emits 93% less global warming pollution than the average gasoline powered car. This drastic reduction in emissions underscores the importance of transitioning to all electric vehicles.

Though electric cars are growing in popularity, consumers are still concerned about finding a place to charge. Maine has made a commitment to expanding the use of electric vehicles with a goal of 219,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030 — a great step in the right direction. However, a comprehensive state-wide electric vehicle charging network is a necessity for meeting those goals and spurring greater EV adoption.

Some of the places where we’re not seeing nearly enough charging stations are the very parks and public lands that electric vehicles would help protect. Since people charge their electric vehicles when they are parked, a lack of infrastructure near hiking trails means many folks suffer from range anxiety — the fear that they’ll run out of juice on the way back from a day on the trail.

We need more charging stations where we go to enjoy nature
Electric vehicle charging equipment is available at several parking areas at Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland
NPS

Mainers should not have to choose between having an electric vehicle and visiting the parks they love. We need to have charging infrastructure in the same places we escape to for relief.

Environment Maine is calling for every state park, wildlife refuge, national monument, and national park to install electric car chargers and make it easy for visitors to recharge their cars while they recharge their souls in nature.

It shouldn’t be difficult for Mainers to drive an EV to their favorite public lands. We need to make getting to our parks in an EV easier so outdoors-loving Mainers do not forgo switching to EVs at all. We must electrify the way we travel to prevent pollution and a warming climate — and to protect the lands we cherish.

What are we doing right now?

Right now we are making the case to the Mills administration and Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands that installing charging stations at our parks should be the top priority in building out our charging network. Electric vehicle owners must be able to recharge their cars where they recharge their souls.

We plan on getting automakers and EV companies to sponsor and maintain these chargers. Facilitating a public-private partnership for our charging network will expand access to our parks and save Mainers money.

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We know we can get Governor Mills on board. Maine is one of 13 states and Washington DC to adopt the Zero Emission Vehicle program (ZEV), which requires more electric vehicles to be sold across Maine. Additionally, Governor Mills was one of 12 governors who called on President Joe Biden to require all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2035. It’s clear the leadership in our state understands the vital role electric vehicles play in protecting our climate, now it’s time we take action.

We also have a successful track record on working to preserve our public lands. We worked for years at the federal level to help get the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) fully funded, and succeeded when the Great American Outdoors Act passed in 2020. The LWCF financed nearly 900 projects in Maine, including Grafton Notch, Mount Blue, and Popham Beach state parks.

Electric cars can help us protect our special places from the worst impacts of climate change. Traveling in an electric car can bring you to amazing natural wonders without tailpipe pollution.

It shouldn’t be difficult for Mainers to drive an EV to their favorite public lands. We need to make getting to our parks in an EV easier so outdoors-loving Mainers do not forgo switching to EVs at all. We must electrify the way we travel to prevent pollution and a warming climate - and to protect the lands we cherish.

We have the technology and the will to electrify our transportation with renewable energy, but we need to ensure Mainers are able to recharge their cars where they recharge their souls without contributing to climate change.

Tell the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry: Install EV chargers in Maine state parks

We need to be able to access public lands without contributing to their destruction. We can do this by installing EV chargers in all of our state parks. Expanding the state's EV charging infrastructure not only helps us reduce our global warming emissions, it also ensures that Mainers can travel to their favorite park without worrying about how far their car can go.