Electric Vehicle Bill Goes to Gov’s Desk

Electric Vehicle Bill Goes to Gov’s Desk

 

The electric vehicle bill, S2252 (Smith) / A4819 (Benson/Pinkin) has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate today. The bill establishes Statewide public plug-in electric vehicle charging system. The updated version includes language of at least 330,000 registered light duty vehicles in the state to be plug in electric by December 2025 and 2 million EV’s by 2035. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

“New Jersey did more to fight GHG’s today than anything they have done in over a decade. Passing this critical legislation to reduce harmful air pollution and clean our air now heads to the Governor’s desk. The NJ Legislature are accelerating moving forward with electric vehicles for New Jersey. Both Houses have passed the EV bill and now it moves to the Governor’s desk to sign. This legislation is more critical because cars and trucks are the biggest source of air pollution in our state. The bill will mandate 330,000 EV’s by 2025, 2 million by 2035, and at least 85% of all light duty vehicles sold in New Jersey will be electric by December of 2040. It’s a major step forward in making EVs a reality in our state,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We thank the Senate and Assembly for lifting the roadblocks to make EV’s a reality in New Jersey. Now it is critical for Governor Murphy to sign this legislation and kick electric vehicles into gear. “

According to the bill, By December 31, 2025, at least 400 DC Fast Chargers shall be available for public use at no fewer than 200 charging locations in the State, (b) at least 75 of the 200 or more charging locations shall be at travel corridor locations, equipped with at least two DC Fast Chargers per location, each capable of providing at least 150 kilowatts of charging power, and no more than 25 miles between the charging locations, and (c) at least 100 of the 200 or more charging locations shall be community locations, equipped with at least two DC Fast Chargers per location, each capable of providing 50 kilowatts of charging power or more, and 150 kilowatts or more where feasible.

“With this legislation, we can help get EV’s on the road in New Jersey. It will help push EV technology that is becoming cheaper and more available. People like EV technology that is becoming cheaper and greener however; there is ‘range anxiety.’ It is important that the legislation will require installing hundreds of fast charging stations as well as public community chargers.  A network of charging stations statewide will make people more comfortable with buying and using these electric vehicles. We would like to see DC Fast Chargers in over 300 locations across the state in the next two years,” said Tittel.

According the bill, by December 31, 2024, at least 10 percent of the new bus purchases made by the New Jersey Transit Corporation shall be zero emission buses, and (b) the percentage of zero emission bus purchases shall increase to 50 percent by December 31, 2026, and 100 percent by December 31, 2032 and thereafter.  Zero emission buses shall not produce emissions at the tailpipe, nor use fuels stored on the vehicle derived from fossil-fuel sources, and shall be prioritized for low-income, urban, or environmental justice communities

“It’s critical this bill will force NJ Transit to buy electric buses. The legislation will mandate NJ to have 10% of their bus fleet to be electric by 2024, 50% by 2026, and 100% by 2032. While the language is better than the older version amended by the Murphy Administration, we believe NJ Transit should start buying electric buses quicker. The agency should be buying EV’s this year, at least 100 next year and move forward on a target of 50% of EV buses by 2025. NJ Transit is planning to replace their old buses with diesel buses. They should be moving forward on electrifying our transit systems like San Francisco and other cities. Electric buses and trains are 70% cheaper to operate, and would help move New Jersey toward 100% clean energy by 2050,” said Tittel. “There are 100 transportation systems around the nation that are buying electric buses and looking to meet a benchmark of 70,000 buses in the next 30 years. New Jersey needs to be in that mix.”

The Sierra Club believes the BPU should have programs to set standards for charging stations. We need to make sure that charging networks and incentives are targeted to communities that have received a disproportionate share of pollution, especially Environmental Justice communities. It is also important to provide job training on installing charging stations in EJ communities. We should also be giving incentives or priority to charging stations that use energy that are tied to solar projects.

“Now that the bill is passed, we need to make sure that charging networks and incentives are targeted to communities that have received a disproportionate share of pollution, especially Environmental Justice communities. New Jersey needs to implement programs to install plug-in stations along with providing things like zip cars, ride shares, and taxis to encourage EV’s that everyone can afford. BPU must offer opportunities for people to buy EVs of all communities, including those of modest means through rebates or ‘cash for clunkers’ programs. These offers should extend to those households below a certain income cap. New Jersey should also have rebates for leases and resale,” said Tittel. “When building charging station for fleets and areas where the market in underserved areas, utilities role should be severely limited in areas where the market will not take care the needs for a charging station. Business and the market will drive charging stations, utilities should only play a role otherwise.”

Governor Murphy will have to make a decision on the bill by next week.

“This bill will help go after the biggest sources of air pollution and GHG’s in New Jersey. Over 45% of our greenhouse gasses in New Jersey come vehicles and our state suffers from failing air levels. This bill is the first major step in reducing pollution and GHG’s from our transportation sector. Now it is critical for Governor Murphy to sign this comprehensive electric vehicle legislation. Our state used to be a leader in innovation and transportation and can be again in clean transport. We can see the benefits of clean air and clean jobs if the BPU builds a state-wide network of charging stations, create green jobs, save people money on gas, and reduce air pollution. Half of New Jersey’s greenhouse gases come from mobile sources, but these emissions can be easily cut by implementing EV technology,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The Governor must sign the bill as soon as possible so we can put the pedal to the medal and make EV’s a reality.”

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