A significant piece of legislation is currently making its way through the process in New Jersey right now aiming to make the Garden State one of the most EV friendly states in the union. The bill would aim to increase the number of electric cars sold in the state by giving buyers up to $5,000 in tax incentives and drastically expand the number of charging stations.
According to northjersey.com the bill has been approved by two committees on Monday, and heads to a vote before the current legislative session ends next week.
Areas of New Jersey have been given an F rating by the American Lung Association for harmful air quality, and the state is looking for ways to reduce its air pollution. It has already shuttered many of its coal-fired power facilities in deference to nuclear, biomass, natural gas, and greener power sources.
The rebate is meant as an incentive to get buyers into electric cars the state, which already waives its 7% sales tax on zero emissions vehicle purchases in addition to the federal income tax credit for EVs. The New Jersey bill limits the rebate to EVs with an MSRP under $55,000 and provides $25 per mile of range up to a max of $5,000. Under the bill’s proposal, any EV with at least 200 miles of range would receive the full rebate.
The rebate would also apply to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, but with much shorter ranges the rebate amount would obviously be significantly less. To get max effect on your rebate, this would be best applied to a Hyundai Kona EV, Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3, or Nissan Leaf Plus as they are all under $55,000 and are rated to at least 200 miles of range.
The second part of the bill would also call for the installation of 1,000 additional level two chargers, and incentivize hotels, apartments, condos, and townhouse to add chargers. The goal is to have 30% of New Jersey shared living units with access to EV chargers and 50% of hotels.
New Jersey is already a bastion of electric vehicle purchasers, as there are over 26,000 registered EVs in the state. Part of the adoption problem, however, is that it is also the worst state to find an EV charging station with only 745 publicly accessible plug-ins statewide.
The third portion of the bill calls for all non-emergency state-owned cars and trucks to be battery electric by 2035 and NJ Transit will only be approved to purchase electric-powered buses starting in 2032. This is easily the piece of the bill with the fewest teeth. Electric buses exist now and many cities already use them exclusively. This would have made much more of a splash by starting it in 2020 rather than 12 years from now.
If the bill goes through, it would absolutely move the needle. This would bring a base model Chevrolet Bolt down from it’s starting price of $36,620 to $31,620. Add in the fact that you’d pay no sales tax and the federal rebate still applies and you’ve got yourself a very inexpensive EV!
The days of New Jerseyites driving gas guzzlers? Fuggetaboutit!