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DEP Recommends Aggressive Goals To Reduce New Jersey Emissions

Oct 27, 2020

100% Electric Vehicles Sold by 2035 Among The Recommendations

A report recently released by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) proposes several aggressive measures to help New Jersey achieve its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The report offers legislative, regulatory and policy suggestions to reduce emissions across seven sectors: transportation, industry, residential and commercial buildings, electric generation, waste and agriculture, short-lived climate pollutants and carbon sequestration.

Of particular interest to New Jersey dealers are the recommended changes to the State’s transportation sector. The report recommends all light-duty cars, trucks and SUVs sold in New Jersey be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035, just 15 years from now.

The report also prioritizes electrifying government vehicle fleets, expanding charging infrastructure, increasing ridership on public transportation, encouraging working from home and building transit-oriented development.

Current State law mandates 330,000 EVs be registered in New Jersey by 2025 and 2 million EVs by 2035. By comparison, there were just under 7,000 total EVs sold in New Jersey in 2019- about 2% of the total number of new vehicles sold. The new DEP recommendation would be even more aggressive than existing State law.

While California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order last month to develop regulations to ensure that 100% of new cars sold in California are zero-emission vehicles by 2035, there has been no indication, yet, that  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will follow a similar path.

NJ CAR has long made the case that New Jersey’s franchised new car and truck dealers are eager to serve as leaders in the EV revolution, but until EV pricing and the state’s underdeveloped charging network are addressed, NJDEP’s hyper-aggressive 2035 target is unrealistic.

Thankfully, the DEP acknowledges these obstacles, which is why the report also recommends investment in expanding the state’s charging network, as well as larger incentives to encourage more EV sales. This would build on the current $5,000 incentives available to New Jersey consumers who buy eligible EVs.

New Bill Introduced To Promote EVs By Boosting Charging Infrastructure

Bill A3367, which will improve access to residential electric vehicle (EV) charging, was recently signed into law by Governor Murphy. The new law prohibits unreasonable restriction of EV charging infrastructure and establishes standards to encourage common interest communities to allow for the installation, use and upkeep of EV charging stations by unit owners. The law will allow the executive board of a common interest community to grant the exclusive use of a common area parking space by a unit owner for the purpose of installing an EV charging station.