TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would aid in New Jersey’s transition to electric vehicles was approved today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“It is imperative that we continue to establish innovative and creative strategies that will ensure a clean and healthy environment for New Jersey residents,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “While we have focused on ways to encourage residents to use alternative fuel vehicles such as electric powered cars, it is important that we provide the required tools to maintain their use. This measure does just that by providing for needed alternative fuel infrastructure on highways and freeways.”
The measure, S-2782, would require the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to install electric vehicle charging stations at no fewer than four rest areas on the New Jersey Turnpike and no fewer than four rest areas on the Garden State Parkway. The Turnpike Authority would be required to spread out the stations between the northern, central and southern regions of New Jersey to increase the recharging services throughout the state. The bill would also require the South Jersey Transportation Authority to install electric vehicle charging stations at two rest areas on the Atlantic City Expressway.
“Drivers may find it difficult to switch over to alternative fuel vehicles when there are limited refueling stations on the road. This situation often leads residents to opt out of buying clean energy cars in favor of gas-powered vehicles,” added Senator Turner. “This bill would provide the easy access needed to refuel by requiring the Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority to install recharging stations on freeways and highways. With these installations in place, New Jersey can join along with other states to jumpstart its alternative fuel industry.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there is an estimated two-thirds of oil consumed in the U.S. used for transportation. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that approximately 93 percent of the fuel used in the transportation sector comes from petroleum.
The bill was approved with a vote of 5-0. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.