Electric Vehicles

Advocates press N.J. governor to speed EV adoption

A coalition supporting adoption of electric vehicles is urging Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s democratic governor, to issue and executive order that would establish a rebate program for electric vehicles and to resolve utility filings pending before the state’s Board of Public Utilities.

The actions would “send a signal” to the business community that the Murphy administration supports the acceleration of the transition to an electrified transportation system, ChargEVC said in the letter.

“Directing the BPU to establish an electric vehicle rebate program and to start moving on EV filings that include much needed charging infrastructure are essential first steps on the road to a cleaner, greener motor vehicle fleet in New Jersey,” James Appleton, secretary of ChargEVC, said in a statement.

ChargEVC is asking the governor to sign an executive order that would establish a $45 million rebate program for electric vehicles in 2020. The organization says the rebate program would roughly double the state’s EV sales rates over 2018 levels.

The funds for the rebate could come from the state’s $140 million Clean Energy Fund, which has historically been diverted for other budgetary purposes. Monies for the fund come from a combination of societal benefits charges and revenues from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap and trade program.

Murphy’s budget calls for returning about $70 million to the Clean Energy Fund, which ChargEVC says would be sufficient to establish an EV rebate program and to continue funding for the weatherization and energy efficiency programs that the fund has historically supported.

Even the narrowest analysis shows electric vehicles can benefit ratepayers by providing about $4.3 billion in savings through 2035, ChargEVC claims.

ChargEVC is also asking Murphy to push to resolve two rate cases filed about a year ago at the Board of Public Utilities. Both contain elements relevant to the proliferation of electric vehicle adoption, such as programs for the deployment of EV charging stations.

A $2.5 billion rate case filed by Public Service Electric & Gas, for instance, includes $300 million in funding for electric vehicle initiatives. The other pending filing was made by Atlantic City Electric. Moving forward on those filings would help address drivers’ concerns about range anxiety, ChargEVC representative Ashley-Lynn Chrzaszcz said.

Atlantic City Electric and PSE&G are both signed the letter.

ChargEVC is a not-for-profit coalition of automotive retailers, electric utilities, technology companies, auto manufactures, local governments, and environmental, community and labor advocates.