Highland Park electric vehicle coalition celebrates Murphy EV goals, actions

ChargEVC, a Highland Park-based coalition promoting electric vehicle use, applauded Gov. Phil Murphy’s key initiatives, announced earlier this week, including an electric vehicle rebate program and directing millions of dollars toward electric charging stations.

ChargEVC calls these a critical first step toward positioning New Jersey as the East Coast leader in the growing electric vehicle market.

“The New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In ensures that we are working collaboratively across state agencies and with our private sector partners to not only meet, but exceed our goal of registering 330,000 electric vehicles in New Jersey by 2025,” Murphy said in a statement. “This new initiative is part of our broader effort to make renewable energy solutions work for everyone in New Jersey.”

Murphy is calling for working with the Legislature to establish a rebate program for electric vehicles; directing the remaining $7 million of the VW settlement money eligible for funding of alternative fueling stations to assist in the building of a charging network; and establishing a formal inter-agency cooperation agreement between the Board of Public Utilities, Department of Environmental Protection, and Economic Development Authority to ensure a coordinated approach to market development initiatives.

The build-out of the EPCN will be facilitated by the Atlantic City Electric and PSE&G filings at the Board of Public Utilities, which are a critical component of prompting electric vehicle use and building needed infrastructure.

“Today’s news is a breath of fresh air for thousands of New Jersey children and seniors who struggle to breathe our polluted air,” ChargEVC Chief Executive Officer Pamela Frank said in a statement. “We thank the Murphy administration for taking bold action to electrify our transportation sector, but we know there is so much more to do because cleaning our air will require getting electric vehicles on the road in scale, and it can’t happen soon enough.”

Murphy’s actions are consistent with recommendations from ChargEVC and complementary to legislation (Senate Bill 2252/Assembly Bill 4819) that advocates are pushing for passage this year. According to ChargEVC, this would place New Jersey on a leadership path to enable the acceleration of the market, with economic benefits including lower electricity costs for all customers and lower greenhouse and other health impacting emissions.

“Someone wise once noted that the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step,” Doug O’Malley, executive director of Environment New Jersey and ChargEVC president, said. “This is clearly a long journey, and while we are encouraged by these first steps, let us not forget that we have a long way to go.”

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