Electric, Hybrid and High Fuel Efficiency Vehicles: Cost-Effective and Equitable GHG Emission Reductions in Maine
Maine’s transportation sector accounts for 54% of Maine’s CO2 emissions, with almost all of this coming from gasoline and diesel (MDEP 2020). On a per-capita basis, Maine’s transportation sector is about average for the nation (rank 24 out of 50). Reducing transportation-related petroleum demand and emissions will benefit Maine’s economy. This can be achieved by increasing vehicle efficiency, switching to alternative fuels (e.g., electricity, biofuels) that have lower emissions per mile, and by reducing the demand for motorized transportation. These actions can and should be done while meeting social equity goals that account for regional, income and racial inequalities. The GHG benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) are particularly strong in states such as Maine that have electrical grids relying on renewable energy sources and natural gas. However, given the low current sales rate of new EVs, less than 2% in Maine, EV-focused programs do not affect the overwhelming majority of current new vehicle purchases. We provide some estimates of possible fuel and GHG savings from a used high mile-per-gallon (MPG) vehicle incentive program for Maine. These are based on common Maine vehicles and represent savings if drivers participate in the program. The GHG emission reductions realized will depend on the specifics of the program implementation and the linkage of such a program with a scrappage program to remove the least efficient vehicles from Maine’s roads.