GHG Emissions, Regulation - January 20, 2021
New Jersey permits program to replace diesel trucks with electric vehicles
New Jersey is launching a pilot program to incentivize businesses and institutional organizations to divert from diesel trucks and instead purchase medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles. This initiative aligns with the state's clean energy and climate by targeting the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as the primary source of air pollution in densely populated urban areas.
“This is a critical step toward our environmental-justice initiatives that I hope will spark widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles across the state,’’ Gov. Phil Murphy said according to a Jan. 18 report from NJ Spotlight News.
The $15.7 million program will provide up to 300 vouchers to organizations around Newark and Camden to buy specified zero-emission medium-duty vehicles ranging from pickup trucks and box trucks to hotel shuttles. Vouchers will range from $25,000 to $100,00 depending on the class of vehicle being purchased. Approximately one-third of the money will be set aside for small businesses. Funding was raised by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that focuses on emissions from power plants.
The pilot program is modeled after voucher programs already established in New York and a handful of other states, all of which are targeting pollution from diesel trucks, particularly in urban areas suffering from a disproportionate amount of air pollution. It also borrows from a popular New Jersey program that now offers motorists rebates to buy more expensive light-duty zero-emission vehicles.
New Jersey has ambitious goals to electrify its transportation system through a variety of laws and programs. By 2025, it has committed to getting 330,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road. Under an agreement it signed last year, the state aims to have 30% of new truck purchases being electric by 2030.