At a Monday press conference in Lyndhurst, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced the expansion of the New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program (NJ ZIP), which supports businesses and institutions statewide that are purchasing new, zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operating around N.J.
Last week, the NJEDA board approved the $45 million expansion – which doubles the program’s funding – through its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) allocation.
The NJEDA anticipates the expansion will allow 200 to 400 additional vouchers – ranging between $25,000 and $100,000 – to be awarded to companies looking to reduce harmful emissions.
So far, the organization has approved 144 NJ ZIP applications totaling $32.2 million in vouchers.
CEO Tim Sullivan announced the expansion outside the offices of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, where he was joined by Vanessa and Luis Abad as well as other officials, business owners and executives. The Abads’ business, ENAT Transportation and Logistics, was one of the first businesses approved under the program.
“Over 40% of New Jersey’s carbon emissions are produced by vehicles, so helping small businesses make the transition to zero-emission technology is a key step toward accelerating Gov. Phil Murphy’s efforts to improve air quality, and create economic opportunity within the state,” said Sullivan. “Small businesses participating in the program are poised to reap the benefits of electric vehicle ownership by modernizing their fleets with environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art vehicles that not only reduce fuel costs and require less maintenance but mitigate the harmful environmental impacts of transportation emissions in communities across New Jersey.”
“NJ ZIP is a fantastic resource for small businesses like mine to afford transitioning to an electric fleet as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and the additional bonus it provides gives woman-owned minority businesses, like mine, the opportunity for progress,” said Vanessa Abad. “The additional $40,000 in bonuses we received for being a minority and women-owned small business has allowed us to compete with other transportation companies in an industry that has traditionally been operated by men.”
“NJ ZIP offers a clear and accessible path for businesses across New Jersey, especially those in underserved communities, to buy and drive electric vehicles,” said Larry Sharp, GreenPower Motor Co. regional sales manager. “GreenPower Motor will continue to deliver some of the first commercial electric vans and trucks to New Jersey businesses that are taking a bold step in addressing climate change by reducing their carbon footprint. We look forward to continuing to supply future recipients with zero-emission vehicles through the NJ ZIP program.”
The NJEDA is also working to identify a university partner to provide technical assistance – like guidance to small businesses going through the application process – as part of the NJ ZIP program.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said it is pleased to be partnering with the NJEDA on this initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“As New Jersey’s transportation sector is the largest source of these emissions, the NJ ZIP expansion constitutes a significant step forward,” said Shawn LaTourette, NJDEP commissioner. “These types of partnerships also demonstrate the power and strength of collaboration among state agencies. NJ ZIP supports small businesses with an eye toward transitioning their current vehicle fleet to zero emission alternatives, helping to protect the environment, improve public health, and advance our environmental justice and clean energy goals.”
More information on NJ ZIP is available at https://www.njeda.com/njzip.