TRENTON, NJ -- In a move that will speed up New Jersey’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs), Gov. Phil Murphy announced today the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In. The new initiatives include creating an EV rebate program and directing millions of dollars toward installing EV charging stations.
Simultaneously, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) announced the second round of projects supported through the Volkswagen Settlement funds. After Volkswagen was caught three years ago violating emissions standards in 590,000 cars marketed as “low emissions,” the German automaker agreed to create an “Environmental Mitigation Trust” to be distributed across all 50 states. Today’s announcement awards $16 million of New Jersey’s share to the deployment of electric heavy-duty garbage trucks, school buses and port-related vehicles.
Morgan Folger, director of Environment America’s Clean Car Communities campaign, released the following statement:
“These announcements are so vital because transportation must be at the center of the climate change discussion in the state. New Jersey is one of the fastest-warming states in the nation, and transportation accounts for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Garden State. Acts like these are essential if we want to chart a path to cleaning up our air and fighting climate change.
“Gov. Murphy’s initiative will help overcome the roadblocks facing electric vehicles, which include the lack of charging stations and the affordability gap consumers face when it comes to buying cleaner cars.
“The Volkswagen settlement also provides New Jersey with the perfect opportunity to fund projects that will cut carbon pollution by electrifying our cars, trucks and buses. One big winner is Trenton, which will receive five electric school buses to help reduce the diesel pollution that is harming our children's health and contributing excessively to global warming.
“The bottom line is climate change is a health emergency for our families and our communities. We applaud the Murphy administration for taking action. But we must remember that the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. While we are encouraged by these first steps, let’s not forget that we still have a long way to go.”
Environment America is a national network with affiliates in 29 states. Our staff and members work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. Environment America is part of the Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.