TRENTON, NJ- Today, bill S2252, establishing a Statewide public plug-in electric vehicle charging system, passed the Senate Energy and Environment committee with bipartisan support. 

The bill requires that the state install at least 600 public DC fast chargers and Level 2 public community chargers at 300 locations or more by December 31, 2020. It also creates a working group to direct this initiative, including the Board of Public Utilities, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Transit Corporation, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and the Department of Community Affairs.

“New Jersey’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is transportation,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “The air pollution problems it creates overburdens urban and environmental justice communities, causing more public health problems. Electric vehicles offer a better way to reduce toxic emissions as we work towards a clean energy future. This bill will help encourage public acceptance of these vehicles by reducing range anxiety and creating accessible public charging infrastructure.”

The American Lung Association rated New Jersey’s air quality as either a D or an F in all counties, according to a recently published report.

“We are encouraged to see this bill pass committee and look forward to working with the legislature, the administration, and our ChargEVc partners to make this bill a reality,” said Potosnak.

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is working on its Clean Buses for Healthy Niños initiative, which fights diesel pollution by using clean school buses that run on electricity. Clean Buses for Healthy Niños is especially focused on bringing the funds from the VW settlement to low-income and communities of color where students and families disproportionately carry the burden of pollution. 

“The goal of this nationwide initiative is asking governors to reinvest the Volkswagen funds into local communities and school district to protect our families and students. We are so excited to see the administration taking its first step towards this by including the electrification of school buses in the draft Volkswagen settlement plan,” said Potosnak.

The bill’s committee vote comes just a few weeks after the administration’s release of its draft Volkswagen settlement plan, which states it will work to mitigate pollution impacts on environmental justice communities, and in particular will focus on electrifying school bus fleets for public K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

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.