Bill S2252, which will establish a Statewide public plug-in electric vehicle charging system was voted out of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee this morning. The bill would require a working group to develop a plan for installing at least 600 fast-charging and Level 2 stations at 300 locations across New Jersey by the end of 2020. It would also require each public utility to submit a proposal to the Board of Public Utilities for the construction of an Essential Public Charging Network.
The hearing was held while nearly a dozen electric vehicles, as well as an electric bus and electric garbage truck, lined West State Street in front of the State House Annex for a “Ride & Drive” event hosted by ChargEVC, a coalition of organizations representing dealerships, manufacturers, consumer advocates, public utilities and others committed to greater EV adoption. NJ CAR is one of the founding members of the nearly two-year old coalition.
Following the Committee hearing, there was a brief press conference held in the State House to recognize the step New Jersey had taken toward a cleaner future.
Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC and Vice President at Gabel Associates, said it was an “exciting day for electric vehicles in New Jersey” and introduced several other speakers, including Joe Fiordaliso, President of the Board of Public Utilities, Senators Linda Greenstein and Bob Smith (co-sponsors of S2252), Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Reverend Ronald Tuff, Organizer for GreenFaith Ministries.
President Fiordaliso commented that S2252 was one of the first steps leading New Jersey toward achieving its aggressive clean energy goals, sentiments that were echoed by both Senator Greenstein and Senator Smith. Assemblywoman Pinkin spoke about the environmental and health benefits New Jersey would see as more electric vehicles make their way to Garden State roads and Reverend Tuff spoke about the educational and employment opportunities a clean economy can bring to New Jersey, particularly in its urban areas.