Legislation signed today (S3223) by Governor Murphy seeks to streamline the approval process for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and provide guidelines for the creation of a model land use ordinance for EV charging stations and Make-Ready parking spaces.
NJ CAR supports this new law and New Jersey’s neighborhood new car and truck dealerships applaud the sponsors’ efforts to remove impediments to the expansion of EV infrastructure at the local level. But EV advocates like NJ CAR are concerned this new law may have the unintended consequence of hindering the development of universal charging infrastructure, as the law offers segregated charging infrastructure, designed or intended to serve just one brand, the same streamlined approval process offered developers of universal charging infrastructure, designed and intended to serve all makes and models of EVs.
It makes sense to streamline the approval process for universal EV charging stations and provide guidelines for the creation of a model land use ordinance for electric vehicle supply equipment and Make-Ready parking spaces available to all EV drivers. But it makes no sense to offer these same public accommodations to segregated or brand-specific chargers. Indeed, we are concerned that the statute, as written, may actually encourage the expansion of a segregated charging network and frustrate efforts to build out the kind of robust EV charging ecosystem envisioned by the sponsors of this important legislative effort.
Currently, only Tesla maintains a segregated charging network. But, what if Ford, GM and Volkswagen started building segregated charging for the new EV models they will deploy? Legislation that facilitates the expansion of brand-specific or segregated charging networks may advance the corporate interests of certain automakers, but it will undermine the public interest in the creation of a robust universal EV charging ecosystem.
NJ CAR intends to work with the sponsors to seek amendments that ensure segregated chargers, designed or intended to serve just one brand of EV, cannot take advantage of the streamlined approval process the sponsors envisioned for universal charging infrastructure.