Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 17 signed into law a bill providing incentives and rebates toward purchases of electric vehicles.
Senate Bill 2252 was approved by a 27-12 vote in the Senate on Monday and a 65-9 vote in the Assembly. Environmentalists backed the measure as a way to cut carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to climate change.
“New Jersey is taking a big step forward to reposition our economy for our future,” Murphy said at a news conference. “Changing how we get our energy will make us a global leader.”
With many electric vehicles carrying price tags between $30,000 and $40,000, the bill calls for the state to subsidize such purchases with rebates of up to $5,000 per vehicle. The rebates will come out of a $30 million state fund financed by the existing clean energy surcharge tacked onto utility bills.
The new law also requires New Jersey Transit to electrify 10 percent of new bus purchases by the end of 2024, 50 percent of new purchases by the end of 2026, and 100 percent by the end of 2032.
In addition, the law requires Department of Environmental Protection must prepare and submit to the governor and the Legislature a report that assesses the state of the plug-in electric vehicle market in New Jersey; measure the state’s progress toward achieving the goals outlined in the bill; identify barriers to the achievement of the goals; and make recommendations for legislative or regulatory action to address those barriers. The first report is due Dec. 31, and new assessments must be submitted every five years.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Dan Benson, D-14; Assemblyman Bob, Smith, D-17th District; Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-14th District; Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, D-18th District; and Assemblyman James Kennedy, D-22nd District.
“The law is the most significant act by the Legislature and the Governor in reducing greenhouse gases since the passage of the Global Warming Response Act in 2007,” Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said in a statement. “This law will help New Jersey accelerate and catch up to our neighboring states if not pass them by making our air cleaner. Over 45 percent of our greenhouse gases in New Jersey come from vehicles and our state suffers from failing air levels for ground level ozone.”
Goals established by the bill include the construction of 400 fast-charging stations and another 1,000 slow-charging stations by 2025. Thirty percent of all apartment, condo, and townhouse developments should have chargers by 2030, while half of all franchise hotels should have chargers by 2050.
“This bill will make New Jersey a leading state in electrifying our transportation sector and move toward a future of zero tailpipe emissions from our vehicles,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “This bill is a huge step to put us on the road to meet our Clean Cars mandates and puts NJ Transit on par with more than 60 transit agencies across America that have committed to electrifying their bus fleets.”