Smith, Greenstein Bill to Promote Plug-in Electric Vehicles Signed into Law

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chair Senator Bob Smith and Senate Environment and Energy Committee Vice-Chair Senator Linda Greenstein, which will create a significant state effort to promote plug-in electric vehicles, was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

“Given the speed at which the planet is warming, it is imperative we do all that we can to protect the environment,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “Increased usage of electric cars could greatly reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. This would have a major impact in our urban communities and along high traffic corridors, improving the quality of life for many New Jerseyans.”

The new law will create a statewide electric vehicle rebate program for purchasers of electric vehicles. The bill sets statewide electric vehicle goals with specific benchmarks for each goal. The law will also require a report to be presented to the governor and the Legislature every five years to track progress.

“Electric vehicles are the future of transportation but many people are reluctant to make the switch. They cost more upfront and minimal access to charging stations creates uncertainty about their range,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “By offering rebates to buyers and building convenient charging stations around the state, this bill removes those barriers and paves the way for widespread usage of electric cars.”

The goal of the law is to have at least two million plug-in electric vehicles registered in New Jersey by the end of 2035, and have at least 85 percent of all new vehicles sold in the state to be plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2040.

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will be required to establish and implement a “Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Incentive Program” for encouraging the purchase or lease of light duty plug-in electric vehicles. The BPU will establish the electric vehicle incentive as a one-time payment to the buyer of a new light duty plug-in electric vehicle up to a maximum of $5,000 per eligible vehicle. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be eligible for the incentive, but only through 2022.