Monday, September 22, 2014
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NJ's Effort to Promote Zero-Emission Vehicles Stalled in Slow Lane

New Jersey is lagging behind neighboring states in promoting the market for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, which hurts efforts to reduce air pollution that contributes to summertime smog and greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmentalists and clean-car advocates.

NJ's Effort to Promote Zero-Emission Vehicles Stalled in Slow Lane

In New Jersey, there currently are approximately 3,500 electric vehicles on the road today and only 120 public plug-in charging stations. (NJ Spotlight)
In New Jersey, there currently are approximately 3,500 electric vehicles on the road today and only 120 public plug-in charging stations. (NJ Spotlight)

New Jersey is lagging behind neighboring states in promoting the market for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, which hurts efforts to reduce air pollution that contributes to summertime smog and greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmentalists and clean-car advocates.

“Right now, New Jersey is being left behind by neighboring states,’’ said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, which yesterday released a report claiming that electric vehicles could prevent significant amount of climate-changing pollution each year.

The report suggested that by 2025 widespread use of electric vehicles could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars -- one of the biggest sources of pollution contributing to global warming -- by nearly a half-million tons, the equivalent of taking more than 104,000 cars and trucks off New Jersey’s roads.

In a press conference at a few plug-in electric charging stations at Bergen Community College in Paramus, the Christie administration was criticized for a decision by the Motor Vehicles Commission banning the direct sales of the Tesla, a high-end electric vehicle. The administration also caught flak for its refusal to join an eight-state compact to deploy zero-emission vehicles.

The Legislature is poised to overturn the Tesla ban if a bill (A-3216) with near unanimous support in the Assembly is posted for a vote in the state Senate before lawmakers adjourn for the summer break.

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