Economic & Sustainable Development

Grants Program:


Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Program Page

The primary purpose of the City of South Portland’s Economic & Sustainable Development Grants Program is to support smart development in the City of South Portland by providing financial incentives to businesses. Supporting smart development means promoting both economic development and sustainable development, because they are both intertwined and key to meeting our City’s ambitious goals as set forth in the City’s One Climate Future (OCF)  Plan.

The South Portland City Council approved OCF in October 2020, a joint climate action plan with the City of Portland, committing both cities to take action to combat the climate crisis. Transportation is the largest polluting sector in Maine, and in South Portland it accounts for 32% of our greenhouse gas emissions, while commercial and industrial buildings combined account for 47% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This program, through its targeted eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria, will aim to address emissions from both of these sectors.


Summary of Grants

The City of South Portland’s Economic & Sustainable Development Grants Program is comprised of two grant options:

 Grant A - Conditional Economic Development Grant, for businesses that are making significant general building and/or site improvements.

 Grant B - Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Grant, for businesses that are seeking to add Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to their locations.

Applicants may apply to just one of these Grants. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and must meet all eligibility requirements and criteria in these Program Guidelines to be considered.


Grant B: Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Grant

Program Overview

The objective of South Portland’s Level 2 EV Charging Grant Program is to increase the availability of public EV charging outlets at businesses and workplaces throughout the city. This program will fund Level 2 EV charger projects with between 2 and 6 charger plugs at eligible businesses or workplaces. Chargers are eligible for up to $5,000 per plug or 50% of the allowable project costs (whichever is less). Allowable costs include equipment, materials, construction and installation, and are fully detailed below.

 In the past few years, and even months, there have been fundamental changes in the automobile industry. Most of the world’s major car manufacturers have at least one EV model, including some of the largest, which have made monumental commitments to going all-electric in the next decade or two. South Portland recognizes this shift in the market and wants to create a cohesive network of chargers in the city to accommodate this shift.


Eligible Use of Funds

The costs of the following items will be eligible for funding through the grant program:

  • Level 2 EV Chargers (minimum 240V power and 40A circuit breaker per connector; one J-1772 connector per charger plug)
  • Electrical system costs (including anything involved connecting the chargers to the utility grid, i.e. trenching, installing conduit)
  • EV Charger Equipment (including concrete pedestals, conduit, wire, signage, bollards, etc.) directly related to the installation of the chargers
  • Shipping of hardware
  • Services costs including charger design, engineering, permitting, and project management during (but not after) development, construction and installation
  • Personnel costs for site design, site preparation and installation

 Ineligible Use of Funds

The costs of the following items or activities are not eligible for funding through the grant program:

  • Research or feasibility studies
  • Surveys to determine interest in installation of EV Chargers
  • Purchase or rental of real-estate
  • Indirect capital costs (including construction of buildings or structures, parking facilities, construction equipment, etc.)
  • Maintenance costs or any cost incurred after the installation of the charger (including maintenance and service contracts, insurance, or warranties)
  • Electricity bills, networking and payment systems, management and legal costs, insurance and snow removal

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Visibility & Potential for Public Use - Selected projects will be in high-visibility locations or receive a significant number of patrons/employees each week. South Portland seeks to use this program to build out a network of chargers that are used frequently and influences a culture around electric vehicles.
  2. Cost Effectiveness & Ease of Installation - EV Charging Stations have many variables that impact cost, including site preparation, electricity infrastructure, and plug type. South Portland will prioritize projects that are more cost effective and easier to install, although more expensive and challenging projects will be considered, if they have high visibility.
  3. Location in the City - South Portland will award grants to businesses in a diversity of locations in the city. Determinations will be made based on existing chargers and other grant program applications, however, this is not meant to discourage any applicants from applying.


Grantee Qualifications

All grant applicants shall meet certain qualification standards as adopted by the City of South Portland, which should include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Written certification from the applicant and all co-applicants/owners, all of whom have a five-year financial history free of:
    1. Tax liens,
    2. Foreclosures, or
    3. Federal bankruptcies (personal or corporate)
  2. Any and all previously approved development projects within the City of South Portland have been completed, as approved.
  3. These grants are available to for-profit business entities only and are not available for non-profit entities or non-business entities.
  4. These grant funds shall not be available for any residential development projects.
  5. Any other such requirements may be set forth by the City and approved by the City Council, and/or recommended by the City’s legal counsel for inclusion in any underwriting criteria.
    1. NOTE: The Application Review Team requests discretion to waive one or more of these qualifications if the failure to meet the qualifications is related to or caused by documentable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOTE: Economic Development Incentives, including the Grants Programs outlined herein, are not a right or entitlement and shall be granted at the sole discretion of the City of South Portland in accordance with the terms of the program and within the City Code.

Full-Time Employees, Elected Officials, Appointees to Committees with any oversight responsibility or authority related to this program shall not be eligible to apply for these Grants.


Translation Services 

Grant program materials can be made available in additional languages upon request of the applicant. Please contact the Economic Development Department by email at for more information.

More Information

For more information, contact William J. Mann Economic Development Director at the City of South Portland at .


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