Rebecca DeWhitt charges her electric vehicle in Portland, Oregon. Credit: Gillian Flaccus / AP

EVgo electric chargers in southern Maine are not working this morning, part of the hundreds experiencing similar outages across the U.S. Thursday morning.

The issue is part of a system outage, an EVgo customer service representative told the Bangor Daily News. Hundreds of chargers in the system’s nationwide network of 850 chargers are not working, she said, from California to Florida. She did not know the exact number in Maine.

A broader issue with frequently non-working chargers could make it tough for the administration of Gov. Janet Mills to encourage EV purchases among potential buyers. They are a key part of its ambitious goal to cut carbon emissions 45 percent by 2030.

The state has no numbers for faulty charging stations because they are owned by private companies. National numbers vary, although they are concerning. A J.D. Power study in 2022 found that at least one in five recharging efforts nationally failed. Another study in the San Francisco area last year found one in four failed.

One of the closest working chargers to southern Maine that EVgo could locate was at a mall in Burlington, Massachusetts.

“People can accept an occasional major outage, but it’s the constant minor things where they have to reset it or you have to go to another charging station seven miles away,” said Adam Lee, chairman of Lee Auto Malls, who has owned multiple EVs in the past decade.

Lee discovered the network problem this morning when he tried to charge his Rivian electric truck at Market Basket in Westbrook. EVgo’s “Fawn” and “Rudy” chargers, each with two charging stations, showed that they were offline. Lee checked other EVgo chargers in southern Maine and all were out.

The customer service representative at EGgo said she hopes the system outage will be resolved by the end of today. She did not know how many chargers exactly were out in southern Maine.

Lori Valigra, investigative reporter for the environment, holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She was a Knight journalism fellow at M.I.T. and has extensive international reporting experience...