To Get Extra Electrical Automobiles, NJ Need Extra Charging Stations – NJ Highlight

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Credit: (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)New Jersey wants to convert more trucks to electric.

The state is stepping up efforts to build the charging infrastructure needed to transition from diesel-pounding trucks to zero-emission vehicles – a shift that aims to purify polluted air and reduce climate-warming emissions in many urban areas.

A straw proposal published last week by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities shows the agency plans to put in place a comprehensive system of public access to charging points on travel corridors and workplaces. These charging stations would help increase the number of medium and heavy electric trucks and light commercial vehicles.

The proposal is seen as a complement to a pending regulation by the State Department of Environment aimed at converting thousands of trucks – from vans to buses to long-haul tractors – to electric drive. The move could curb a third of the global warming pollution from the transport sector, which accounts for 40% of that pollution in New Jersey.

The new proposed rule would adopt California's “Advanced Truck Rule”, which requires vehicle manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission trucks instead of vehicles that rely on fossil fuels. New Jersey would be the first state to introduce the program.

According to a memorandum of understanding with 14 other states and the District of Columbia, the state has agreed by 2030 that 30% of all medium and heavy (MHD) vehicles sold will be zero-emission vehicles and 100% of such sales by 2050.

The electrification of the transportation sector is an important part of Gov's goals. Phil Murphy for clean energy and the government's goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions 80% below 2006 levels by mid-century.

If the vehicle fleet is not electrified, the cost of decarbonization will increase by an average of $ 1.6 billion per year from 2035 to 2050, according to research underlying the state's 2019 energy master plan.

“Diesel trucks, from vans to semi-trailers, are some of the dirtiest vehicles on the road,” said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “This straw proposal outlines the challenges facing the electrification of the sector.”

Mary Barber, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for New York and New Jersey at the Environmental Defense Fund, agreed, referring specifically to the advanced truck rule. “That's such an important rule,” she said. “It's really critical that commercial vehicles move forward and really improve the health of communities.”

Who bears the costs?

The proposal uses a similar model to a previous regulation by the Light Commercial Vehicles Agency. In this system, the state's four electricity suppliers would be responsible for the cabling and backbone infrastructure to power a robust number of publicly accessible charging stations.

The new proposal takes into account the position of consumer advocates who want to prevent utilities from having to rely on the fee payers to finance the charging infrastructure – especially if private companies are already operating in this sector.

Unregulated electric charging companies with private capital would be primarily responsible for installing, owning and operating the charging infrastructure. The employees of the BPU generally recommend that private investors bear the costs of charging equipment and only use fee payments in areas in which the private sector does not build such an infrastructure.

The measure also suggests creating more transportation in low and middle income communities and environmental justice that critics say were left out in the transition to cleaner technologies, including the move to solar energy.

Numerous hearings on the straw proposal are planned for August and September.

“This straw proposal, along with the advanced truck rule, will make New Jersey a pioneer in truck electrification,” said O'Malley.


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