The Murphy Administration took another step toward electrifying New Jersey’s transportation sector last week, 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 Gov. Phil Murphy in July and is effective immediately in each of the State’s 565 municipalities.
Under 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 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.
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.
Initiatives 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 EV 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, 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.
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.