EV Owners Enjoy Cost Savings, Reliability, Range, & More — Maine Survey

A new survey of electric vehicle owners in all 16 of Maine’s counties shows that Maine people value electric vehicles (EVs) for their reliability, performance, and the cost savings they provide.

Courtesy of Natural Resources Council of Maine

The survey conducted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) in April 2022 by mail and online found that 98% of EV owners would personally recommend them to their neighbors, in part because EVs are quiet, helping them avoid the high price of gas , and are better for Maine’s environment. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed save $25 or more a month on gas, and 56% save $50 or more.

“It’s hard for me to say one thing that I like most about our electric vehicle. It’s ultra-quiet, there are very few moving parts, it has incredible pick up, it’s so reliable, and it’s fun to drive. Then, it costs me so little to operate. I just can’t believe I haven’t done this before,” said Gale White, owner of the Lubec Brewing Company.

There are now more than five times as many electric vehicles on the road in Maine than in 2018, the last time NRCM conducted an EV survey. Nearly 100% (99%) of those surveyed say their EV is reliable, and 97% said their EV is affordable and easy to maintain.

“We heard directly from Mainers across the state that electric cars are improving their lives by helping them get around more easily for less money,” said Jack Shapiro, NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director. “There’s no question as more models come to market and we continue to expand our network of charging stations, more and more Mainers will find electric cars and trucks an attractive and affordable option.”

The survey also found that electric vehicle charging is becoming more convenient. Ninety percent of EV owners primarily charge their cars at home, and the use of public charging stations has increased substantially over the past four years – two out of three drivers in this year’s survey have used public charging stations, up from one half in 2018. and one third in 2014. Concerns about the costs of charging prior to purchase dropped by 73% after EV owners began driving their EVs.

“I decided to go electric because it just made a lot of sense to me. The downside was I was a little timid, so at first I bought a plug-in hybrid. But my next car is going to be purely electric. It’s just reached the point of reliability that it’s a no brainer for me,” said Old Town resident Jim Mitchell.

There is now a wide selection of electric vehicles on the road in Maine, with more coming on the market each model year. Of all EV owners in the state, 44% owns a fully electric vehicle that does not use any gasoline (up from 30% in 2018), while 56% owns a plug-in hybrid vehicle that relies on electric and gas power. The top 5 EV car manufacturers for Maine drivers are, in order of popularity: Toyota, Tesla, Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan.

Maine’s Climate Action Plan identified EVs, combined with investments in active transportation and public transit along with smarter land use planning, as a key recommendation for helping the state transition away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy economy.

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