Maine Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Maine laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Biodiesel Fuel Tax Exemption

An individual that produces biodiesel for personal use or use by a member of his or her immediate family is exempt from the state fuel excise tax. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 36, Section 3203 and 3204-A)

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

Any vehicle equipped with a qualified auxiliary power unit (APU) may exceed the state's gross vehicle and axle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the APU. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 29-A, Section 2360)

Low-Speed Vehicle Inspection Exemption

Low-speed vehicles are exempt from annual state vehicle inspections. Low-speed vehicles must be registered, carry a special license plate, and meet specified state and federal safety equipment requirements. Additional restrictions may apply. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 29-A, Sections 501, 1752, and 1925)

Laws and Regulations

State Plan to Reduce Petroleum Consumption

The Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security developed the Comprehensive Energy Action Plan in response to Public Law 656, 2008, in an effort to advance the principles, the programs and the integrated plans necessary to secure a safe, clean and affordable energy future for the citizens of Maine. The updated plan, published in February 2015, notes that Maine is not in the position to independently fund alternative fuel stations, mainly due to low population density, and encourages public-private partnerships. Maine is also evaluating mass transit options and liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ferries. For more information see the Maine Comprehensive Energy Plan Update. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 2, Section 9)

Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Regulation Exemption

An entity that sells electricity for the sole purpose of charging the battery of a PEV is not defined or regulated as an electricity provider. An electric vehicle supply equipment provider may charge a submetered user only for kilowatt-hours used. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 35-A Sections 313-A and 3201)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Development

Maine has adopted a policy to promote the development, implementation, availability, and use of smart grid technology. The policy includes the goal of integrating advanced electric storage and peak-reduction technologies, such as PEVs, into the electric system. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 35-A, Section 3143)

Idle Reduction Requirement

A commercial vehicle or gasoline powered vehicle may not idle for more than five minutes during any 60-minute period. Exemptions are allowed for the following: 1) a vehicle stopped in traffic or at the direction of a law enforcement official; 2) a vehicle needing auxiliary power for equipment or for climate control to prevent a safety or health emergency; 3) a vehicle being inspected by a state or federal motor vehicle inspector; 4) an emergency vehicle being used in the course of official business; 5) a commercial vehicle using air conditioning or heating during a driver rest period or while waiting to load or unload; and 6) when the ambient outside air temperature is less than zero degrees Fahrenheit. When the outside ambient air temperature is between zero and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, vehicles may idle for up to 15 minutes during a 60-minute period. In addition, a passenger bus my idle for up to 15 minutes during a 60-minute period while passengers are on board. Any owner of a location that is used for loading and unloading of commercial vehicles may not require that vehicles idle for periods longer than 30 minutes while waiting to load or unload at the location. Violators are subject to fines. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 38, Section 585-L)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Maine has adopted the California motor vehicle emissions standards specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. These regulations apply to all passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty vehicles, and heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. Manufacturers must meet the greenhouse gas emissions standard and the zero emissions vehicle sales requirement. (Reference Department of Environmental Protection Rules, Chapter 127)

Alternative Fuel Tax Rates

Blended fuels that contain at least 10% gasoline or diesel are taxed at the full tax rates of gasoline ($0.30 per gallon) or diesel ($0.312 per gallon). Alternative fuel tax rates are as follows:

FuelTax Rate
E85$0.30 per gallon
Biodiesel blends of up to 90%$0.312 per gallon
Biodiesel blends of 90-100%$0.287 per gallon
Propane$0.219 per gallon
Compressed natural gas (CNG)$0.243 per 100 cubic feet
Liquefied natural gas$0.178 per gallon
Hydrogen$0.07 per 100 cubic feet
Hydrogen CNG$0.208 per 100 cubic feet

For more information see the Maine Revenue Services website. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 36, Section 3203)

Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways

Low-speed vehicles may only be used on roadways with posted speed limits of up to 35 miles per hour. Low-speed vehicles must be registered, carry a special license plate, and meet specified state and federal safety equipment requirements. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 29-A, Sections 501, 1925, and 2089)

Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

The Maine State Purchasing Agent may not purchase or lease any car or light-duty truck for use by any state department or agency unless the car or truck has a manufacturer's estimated highway mileage rating of at least 45 miles per gallon (mpg) or 35 mpg, respectively. Cars and light-duty trucks purchased for law enforcement and other special use purposes the State Purchasing Agent designates are exempt from this requirement. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 5, Section 1812-E)

Provision for Establishment of Clean Fuel Vehicle Insurance Incentives

An insurer may credit or refund any portion of the premium charged for an insurance policy on a clean fuel vehicle in order to encourage its policyholders to use clean fuel vehicles, as long as insurance premiums on other vehicles are not increased to fund these credits or refunds. Clean fuels include, but are not limited to, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, alcohol fuels containing not less than 85% alcohol by volume, and electricity. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 10, Sections 963-A, and Title 24-A, Section 2303-B)

Biodiesel-Blended Diesel Documentation Requirement

A person that sells or transfers a title to a biomass-based diesel or biodiesel blend for resale purposes must document the transfer. The document may be in the form of an invoice, bill of sale, or other written document, and must include the name of the transferor, transferee, date of transfer, volume in gallons of the product transferred, and the amount of biomass-based diesel contained in the product. The transfer document must be kept for a period of four years from the transfer date. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 10, Section 1663)

Prohibition of the Sale of Ethanol-Blended Gasoline

A person or distributor may not offer, sell, or distribute gasoline that contains ethanol at a level greater than 10% (E10) or contains corn-based ethanol as an additive. The prohibition does not take effect until at least ten other states or a number of states with a collective population of 30 million have enacted laws preventing the sale of these fuel blends. (Reference Maine Revised Statutes Title 38, Section 585M and Title 10, Section 1457-B)