Earlier today, the Assembly Appropriations and Assembly Environment and Solid Waste committees amended and moved critical legislation (S2252/A4819) that will provide $300 million in cash-on-the hood incentives ($30 million per year) to drive greater adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by New Jersey consumers over the next decade.
For 15 years, following New Jersey’s adoption of the provisions and aggressive EV sales mandates contained in the California Low Emissions Vehicle (CaLEV) law, the State had done nothing to advance the EV market. Meanwhile, manufacturers have invested tens of billions of dollars developing EV technology, resulting in dozens of EV options currently available on dealership lots and dozens more arriving in showrooms over the next few years.
Dealers want to sell what consumers want to buy. And, right now, consumers do not want to buy electric vehicles at anywhere near the numbers mandated. Keep in mind, the CaLEV mandate required 4.5% of the 520,000 vehicles sold in New Jersey to be battery electric in 2019. That’s 23,000 vehicles of a type that sold just 5,600. And the EV sales mandate ramps up 2.5% each year until it accounts for 22% of all new car sales in 2025.
A4819/S2252 is designed to address the two most serious obstacles to electric vehicle adoption and New Jersey meeting its EV mandates: price and range anxiety. Other CalLEV states across the country have offered attractive incentives for years to promote EV sales. Today’s legislation finally has New Jersey putting its money where its mandates are to help incentivize EV sales and invest in much needed infrastructure.
The typical EV costs as much as $12,000-$15,000 more than a comparable gas-powered vehicle. The New Jersey sales tax exemption for battery EVs and the generous federal tax breaks available in many cases close the price gap, but the cash-on-the-hood incentives contained in A4819/ S2252 will bring many moderately-priced EVs on the market today in line with comparable gas-powered models and is sure to accelerate EV sales.
Not only does the amended bill establish a multi-year rebate program for EVs, it also provides flexibility to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) on how they award incentives to expand the necessary charging network, which is critical to addressing consumer anxiety about driving EVs. Right now, New Jersey has only about 400 public and private charging stations spread throughout the State, with just over 1,000 outlets. That’s compared to an estimated 3,500 gas stations, offering more than 20,000 pumps. A4819/ S2252 helps address this obstacle to greater EV adoption.
S2252/A4819 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, January 9 and should face a vote on final passage in the General Assembly and Senate early next week.