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NJ CAR Statement on Rutgers/ Eagleton Poll: Proving EV Mandates Are Not Aligned With New Jersey Residents

Feb 19, 2024

The results of today’s Rutgers- Eagleton Institute survey of consumer attitudes about electric vehicles (EVs) reflects what dealers have been telling the Murphy Administration for months: public policy is not in line with consumer sentiment.

According to the poll of 1,657 adults, 56% of consumers said they are unlikely to buy an EV at this time. Car buyers and auto retailers clearly the environmental and health benefits of EVs, but government mandates don’t do anything to overcome concerns about costs, range and insufficient charging infrastructure. Government regulators need to slow their roll and recognize consumer sentiment or risk a consumer backlash that is already being felt, with many survey respondents opposed to an electric vehicle mandate and concerned about the impact of current EV policy on both the State economy and their own personal finances.

This poll points to the need for the State Legislature to take the wheel from Governor Murphy and steer EV policy back in line with consumer preference.

Unrealistic mandates are certain to hinder — not help — electric vehicle adoption and will have serious negative impacts on the state’s economy and the finances of working and middle-class consumers.

New Jersey’s franchised new car and truck dealers currently offer more than 40 vehicles with a plug and, by model year 2027, it will be 140 models. Dealers want to sell what consumers want to buy. But, right now, consumers are not buying EVs at nearly the rate currently mandated. This just illustrates the fact that New Jersey will be a 100% EV marketplace when consumers choose to buy only EVs, not when government mandates it. Consumers are far more likely to respond to incentives.

The Eagleton poll reflects how much respondents value consumer choice and are concerned about vehicle affordability. It also confirms how car buyers are choosing to spend their money. Every day, dealers see consumers walk into their showrooms, interested in buying an EV, but drive away in a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or gas-powered vehicle because of price, concerns about charging infrastructure or choosing a vehicle that best meets their needs.

New Jersey’s EV policy must reflect the will of consumers.