NJ offers new round of rebates to buy electric cars

The state is rolling out the second phase in its subsidy program meant to help soften the financial impact of buying an electric vehicle.

Under round two of the state-run Charge Up New Jersey program, customers can get rebates of up to $5,000 toward their purchase, all in line with the Murphy administration’s goal of having 330,000 EVs on the road by 2025.

By some estimates, there are between 30,000 to 40,000 electric cars on the road, leaving New Jersey far behind its goals.

Rebates are available at the time of purchase or leasing of the EV, according to a joint  July 6 announcement by Gov. Phil Murphy’s office and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which oversees the program. The rebates are provided for 10 years, with $30 million funded to it per year.

Fiordaliso

Joseph Fiordaliso, who heads the NJBPU, said in a July 6 statement that the broader affordability of EVs will be key to reaching the state’s self-imposed electric vehicles goals, and for it to be totally dependent on renewable energy.

The rebate dollar amount that a buyer can get depends on the mileage range their car can go before it needs to be recharged, with a sliding scale in place. NJBPU officials said that the rebates helped finance the purchase of more than 7,000 EVs when the program was rolled out last summer. This year, the funds are available when buying the vehicle, rather than afterward, as was the case last year.

According to Pam Frank, head of ChargEVC, a coalition of environmental groups, car dealerships and utilities across the state, many buyers have already sunk major costs into their existing vehicles and intend to get upward of a decade of use out of them.

Other matters such as the lack of charging infrastructure – be it an actual or perceived lack of charging stations – could make New Jerseyans hesitant to switch away from their gas-powered vehicles.

EVs Round 3

An upcoming third phase of the program allocates $3 million to cover up to half the costs for home-charging stations, capped at $250. Utility companies such as PSEG and Atlantic City Electric are spending a combined $187 million to install thousands of public charging stations and subsidize the cost of private EV chargers at people’s homes.

And beyond the 330,000 EV goal, the state is spending $100 million to encourage the electrification of trucks and commercial vehicles, which frequently travel through New Jersey to and from the nation’s busiest ports and airports.

A pilot program being run by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is offering vouchers to cover the costs for Camden and Newark businesses to buy and use electric trucks.

Newark is home to the busy Port of New York and New Jersey, while South Jersey has the Port of Paulsboro in Gloucester County and the Port of Camden-Gloucester.

Proponents contend the program has an environmental justice piece: to benefit communities hardest hit by motor vehicle pollution.

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