Murphy Administration Charges Toward an Electric Vehicle Future, Including New Effort to Encourage EV Charging Infrastructure in Every New Jersey Municipality

September 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Murphy Administration took another step toward electrifying New Jersey’s transportation sector today, unveiling a statewide municipal ordinance that makes it easier for people to drive electric by streamlining the local approval process for installing convenient and cost-effective charging infrastructure. The model ordinance, which provides minimum requirements and consistent guidance for electrification, is the result of legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy in July and is effective immediately in each of the State’s 565 municipalities.

Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is confronting the climate crisis by reducing emissions and enhancing the state’s resilience. Reducing transportation emissions, which comprise more than 40 percent of the state’s climate pollution, is a key component of Governor Murphy’s plan for achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The model ordinance released today follows the Murphy Administration’s investment of over $100 million in clean, equitable transportation, its proposal to limit emissions under the state’s Climate Pollutant Reduction (CPR) rules, and the launch of multiple electric vehicle (EV) incentive programs, including Charge Up New Jersey and NJZIP.   

New Jersey’s efforts are underscored by President Biden’s issuance earlier this month of an Executive Order targeting car and truck emissions and requiring that half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 be electric. The President also proposed new emissions standards to cut pollution through 2026. 

“Earlier this year, I announced an investment of more than $100 million in clean, equitable transportation projects to improve air quality and reduce the effects of climate change while moving New Jersey towards 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Making smart investments in our transportation infrastructure, such as encouraging electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state, will help build a stronger, fairer, and greener New Jersey for generations to come.” 

New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) developed the statewide municipal ordinance to ensure that Electric Vehicle Supply/Service Equipment (EVSE) and Make-Ready parking spaces would be permitted uses in all areas of the state in order to enable EV adoption among residents who can’t charge at home and to alleviate “range anxiety” by increasing the proximity of charging infrastructure and giving residents the confidence to drive electric. 

Several sections of the model ordinance, including requirements for municipal approvals and permits, EV-ready development, and minimum parking requirements, are directives from the July law and cannot be altered. Other sections, specifically those related to health and safety factors (lighting and signage, for example), provide minimum guidance for consistency, but allow for municipal modifications as needed. The statewide municipal ordinance will supersede requirements in communities with existing EV charging ordinances.  

“New Jersey municipalities are on the front lines of the climate crisis, both in responding to its impacts and leading the charge to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lt. Governor and DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver. “This statewide municipal ordinance provides them with consistent guidance on how to make those changes in the most efficient and cost-effective way and is a big step toward ensuring that our communities are ready for a carbon-neutral future.” 

“The transportation sector is New Jersey’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, impacting air quality and generating more climate pollution,” said DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “It is vital that we facilitate New Jersey’s rapid transition to an electric vehicle future, which will improve air quality, particularly in communities most overburdened by pollution, and reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that continue fueling climate change. The steps we are taking across the Murphy Administration will move us closer to a clean energy future and help us to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”   

“Governor Murphy is committed to building a stronger, greener economy in New Jersey, and he understands that supporting clean energy is not only critical to addressing the dangers of climate change, but will also drive economic growth and support more vibrant, healthier communities,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Clean energy is a rapidly growing sector that is driving economic growth and job creation in New Jersey, and making it easy for New Jersey drivers to switch to electric vehicles will help us continue to grow this important industry while advancing environmental justice and fostering safer, cleaner communities throughout the state.”

“Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan is a holistic approach to New Jersey’s energy landscape and for the first time includes transportation, which accounts for over 40 percent of our emissions,” said BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We have a moral responsibility to reduce our emissions so that we can mitigate climate change and improve public health. The BPU, in partnership with our sister agencies, will continue to craft the necessary tools for a seamless transition to electrification while simultaneously greening the grid with renewable energies like solar and offshore wind.” 

Electrifying New Jersey’s transportation sector is critical to achieving the Murphy Administration’s vital climate goals, including a transformation to 100 percent clean energy and an 80 percent reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2006 levels. 

These initiatives are outlined in the Global Warming Response Act 80×50 Report, released in October 2020, which found that New Jersey must rapidly implement an economy-wide transformation to transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs. 

In April, New Jersey proposed regulations modeled after California’s Advanced Clean Truck Rule, which requires manufacturers to sell an increasing number of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the state. If adopted, the requirements would begin with model year 2025 and ramp up to model year 2035. 

To further encourage EV use, Governor Murphy signed the Electric Vehicle law in January 2020, establishing purchase and use metrics for EVs, charging infrastructure, parking spaces, and the makeup of state fleet vehicles.

The state also uses the bulk of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction proceeds to invest in vehicle electrification strategies, focusing primarily on environmental justice communities that have experienced a disproportionate burden of air pollution issues.  

New Jersey also provides EV charging station funds through the DEP’s “It Pay$ to Plug In” grant program as well as cash-on-the-hood rebates for new EVs through BPU’s Charge Up New Jersey incentive program. State agencies are also leading by example with BPU’s Clean Fleet EV incentive, which provides grant funding for state and local governments to convert their vehicle fleets to electric and install EV charging stations at their facilities. 

Other significant steps to electrify transportation include: 

  • Forming the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In, a first-of-its-kind, statewide interagency partnership to create a strategic and streamlined framework to increase the number of EVs in New Jersey.
  • Signing landmark legislation to boost EV use in New Jersey by setting aggressive goals for New Jersey EV sales and public charging stations, requiring the establishment of rebates for EV purchases, and directing the state to electrify its fleet.
  • Releasing a comprehensive Energy Master Plan that includes rigorous goals and spans multiple sectors and governmental agencies to achieve the 100 percent clean energy goal. The Energy Master Plan defines clean energy as 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity generation and anticipates that the vast majority of electricity will come from carbon-free resources by 2050. 

To learn more about the DCA Statewide EV Municipal Ordinance, visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/dlps/home/modelEVordinance.shtml

For more information about the DEP’s Drive Green New Jersey program initiatives, visit www.drivegreen.nj.gov/index.html 


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