Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hitting the 'gas' pedal for electric vehicles in New Jersey

Ambitious ‘roadmap’ wants to see 300,000 plug-in vehicles on the road by 2025; 2 million by 2035

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:
electric car
The state needs to broaden its efforts to create a top market for electric vehicles by accelerating building the charging infrastructure for the cars and by providing lucrative incentives to spur motorists to buy them.
In an ambitious ‘’roadmap’’ to helping the state comply with mandates to clean up its transportation fleet, a new coalition urged policymakers to establish aggressive targets for ushering in an era of zero-emission vehicles.
With only 10,000 zero-emission cars on the road in the state, a new coalition says it wants to have a total of 300,000 plug-in vehicles motoring about New Jersey by 2025 and 2 million by 2035.
It called for the state to come up with $300 million to finance rebates for drivers to buy plug-in cars, a strategy successfully employed by other states, according to ChargEVC, a coalition promoting electric vehicles.
Sound fanciful? Not to Sen. Bob Smith, a Democrat from Middlesex County and the chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. He has the committee staff already drafting a bill that would allocate $150 million a year from the state’s clean-energy fund to foot the bill.
In three years, Smith said the bill would provide enough money to provide the rebates to buy plug-in vehicles and still leave $150 million to finance building the infrastructure for electric cars.
Smith said the Transportation Trust Fund and the highway authorities are other options for helping to build the infrastructure needed to ease the range anxiety — the fear car batteries will run out of juice without a charging station in sight.
“This single initiative — getting more EVs on our roads — can deliver massive benefits for all,’’ said Pamela Frank, CEO of ChargEVC. “All electric customers save money with more electricity on our grid. Total net savings could be in the billions depending on how aggressive we choose to be.’’

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