November 6, 2019

Contact: Ed Potosnak
O: (609) 331-9922
C: (732) 991-7574

Joint Statement on the Need to Electrify New Jersey’s Transportation Sector

Trenton - Today, a coalition of environmental, community-based, political, and trade organizations jointly called for the state to move S2252/A4819 and electrify New Jersey’s transportation sector.

“Since transportation is the leading greenhouse gas-emitting sector in our state, we need to electrify our transportation sector if we are to take climate action seriously,” said Senator Linda Greenstein, vice-chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “EVs can clean up our air, create good local jobs and save New Jerseyans money, and that’s why I look forward to working with the legislature and our partners to pass S2252/A4819.”

“As a densely populated state and transportation hub, we must educate and empower New Jerseyans to make choices that will protect our community’s environment and health for generations to come,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Chair of the Environment and Solid Waste Committee. “Choosing electric vehicles as a reliable mode of clean transportation accomplishes that. This legislation will incentivize residents to adopt this new technology.”

"While aggressive electric vehicle goals for New Jersey are important, it's imperative that we have a program in place to meet those goals," said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, Chair of Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee. "Getting more electric vehicles on the road means less greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, more local jobs to put the charging infrastructure in place, and cleaner air for our communities. I look forward to continuing to work with my Legislative colleagues, the Governor, and community stakeholders to achieve these goals by making the NJ EV bill S2252/A4819 law."

Everyone should have the right to clean air, however, in New Jersey we routinely receive unsatisfactory remarks from the American Lung Association regarding our poor air quality,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “By electrifying our public transportation system, we can take a major step forward in cleaning our air for the more than 167,000 children in New Jersey living with asthma, especially Black, Latinx, and children of color who live in environmental justice and low-income communities.”

“Goals are important, and we are pleased that the Governor has set a goal of 330,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. However, we need policy action NOW to have a reasonable shot at meeting these goals,” says Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC, a coalition of statewide EV policy advocates. She continues, “We have been waiting 18 months to pass this bill. This must happen NOW. We need the investments in a statewide fast and convenient charging network, an EV rebate program and a new level of cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sector to get more EVs on the road.”

“The EV omnibus bill will not only bring us closer to a clean energy future, but will open doors for new innovation, new partnerships, and most importantly new opportunities,” said Katharina Miguel, Clean Energy Advocate for Isles. “This is a chance to build transportation services for people who lack mobility and improve access to jobs, healthcare, and other basic living resources for communities that have been neglected.”

“Electric vehicles are not just for aesthetics. Given that Black and Brown communities are much more likely to suffer the consequences of vehicle exhaust from cars on heavily trafficked roads, it's time that we made an investment in the environmental future of these communities and start taking real tangible steps toward clean, electric transportation," said Imani Oakley, Legislative Director and Regional Organizer for New Jersey Working Families Alliance.

“With approximately half of New Jersey's harmful greenhouse gas emissions originating from the transportation sector, we must reduce our dependence on cars and prioritize investment in public transportation," said Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy at Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "Unfortunately, after years of neglect, NJ Transit is in dire need of reliable, guaranteed funding in order to increase capacity and transition to an all-electric bus fleet. New Jersey’s participation in the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) will make sure polluters pay their fair share--and would be a potential funding stream for public transit and electric vehicles while reducing emissions from the transportation sector overall."

“Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, with a quarter of the state’s climate pollution brought on by heavy duty vehicles,” said Mary Barber, Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at Environmental Defense Fund. “Electrifying big trucks and buses and passenger vehicles will be critical to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, cut pollution and clean up the air.”

"As a network of businesses committed to creating a more vibrant, sustainable and equitable economy, we view electrifying our transportation system as both an imperative and an economic opportunity" said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council. "Transitioning to private and public EV vehicles and infrastructure requires smart policy changes that will unleash market innovation, create new jobs, while reversing the growing health risks and economic costs of carbon pollution."

“Transportation electrification is a key component of fulfilling the greenhouse gas reductions mandated by NJ's Global Warming Response Act,” said Patty Cronheim, Outreach Coordinator for ReThink Energy. “EVs are an important tool to fight climate change and improve the health of NJ citizens.”

“With the transportation sector accounting for almost 50% of NJ’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is imperative we accelerate an electrified transportation system,” said Trina Mallik, Climate Change and Energy Policy Manager for The Nature Conservancy. New Jersey can be a leading state in the country with passage of the EV bill during the lame duck session. Residents will benefit from cleaner air, greater energy independence, lower fuel and operations costs, and being on the forefront of a realizing a clean energy future.”

"The state needs to lead by example and take advantage of being the first in the region to significantly invest in electrification infrastructure which will create opportunities for New Jersey to be the center of the electric vehicle industry in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, a boon for workers and communities,” said Norah Langweiler, Campaign Organizer for Jersey Renews.

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.

ChargEVC’s mission is to serve as a trusted resource for research and a singular voice for advocacy, leading to advanced EV market development programs and policies. We work at the local level, with local players, in response to local conditions, to expand EV programs state by state.

Isles, Inc., founded in 1981, is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, New Jersey.  With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.

New Jersey Working Families Alliance is a grassroots independent political organization fighting for a government that represents the needs and values of working families. We elect candidates who share our values and organize campaigns to advance progressive policies. Together we’re building a movement of working families to fight for economic and social justice in New Jersey.

Tri-State Transportation Campaign fights for an equitable, safe, multi-modal transportation network that provides options and supports the economies of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.