NATIONAL NEWS

New Jersey halts electric vehicle rebates, demand too high

Apr 18, 2023, 2:05 PM

FILE - A motorist charges his electric vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger station in Detroit, Wednesda...

FILE - A motorist charges his electric vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger station in Detroit, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. New Jersey residents looking to buy or lease an electric vehicle won’t be able to get a government rebate — at least temporarily — because the state program has been so popular that it's already running out of money, officials said, Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey residents looking to buy or lease an electric vehicle won’t be able to get a government rebate — at least temporarily — because the state program is so popular that it’s already running out of money, officials said.

The Charge Up New Jersey program has disbursed an estimated $35 million for the fiscal year ending this July, according to the state’s Board of Public Utilities. The board said Monday it was putting the program on pause because all the earmarked funding will soon be disbursed, based on current rate of application approvals and eligible vehicle orders.

Now in its third year, the program gives state residents up to $4,000 right when they buy or lease a new electric vehicle. On average, EVs now cost more than $58,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, a price that’s beyond the reach of many U.S. households. Federal tax credits and other incentives are designed to bring prices down and attract more buyers.

New Jersey’s utility board estimates the program will support the purchase or lease of more than 10,000 vehicles this fiscal year, and it should be back up and running again once the new fiscal year starts July 1. A spokesperson for the Board of Public Utilities, Peter Peretzman, said Tuesday he wasn’t sure if there are plans to increase the program’s funding for next fiscal year.

The utility board estimates that the program, since its launch in May 2020, will have provided more than $90 million in incentives for leasing or buying nearly 25,000 EVs.

At the end of the 2022 there were more than 91,000 electric vehicles on the state’s roadways, the board said, and EVs made up 8% of all new car sales in New Jersey last year.

New Jersey is among the states that have found success with electric vehicle incentive programs. A rebate program in Oregon will also have to pause next month because too many people are applying and the program is running out of money.

The Biden administration has proposed stiff automobile pollution limits that would require up to two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2032, a nearly tenfold increase over current electric vehicle sales.

The proposed regulation, announced last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, would set tailpipe emissions limits for the 2027 through 2032 model years that are the strictest ever imposed. The proposed tailpipe pollution limits don’t require a specific number of electric vehicles to be sold every year but instead mandate limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on how automakers comply, the EPA projects that at least 60% of new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. would be electric by 2030 and up to 67% by 2032.

Still, a new poll released last week shows that many Americans aren’t yet sold on going electric for their next cars, with high prices and too few charging stations the main deterrents.

Environmental groups say stricter tailpipe pollution standards are needed to clean the air we breathe and prevent the worst of climate change’s future harms, including even more extreme weather events.

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New Jersey has suspended its rebates for buying or leasing electric vehicles because all the funding earmarked for the popular program in the current fiscal year has already been or will soon be disbursed, according to state officials.

The Charge Up New Jersey Program, now in its third year, provides up to $4,000 at the time a state resident buys or leases a new EV, The state Board of Public Utilities announced Monday that it was pausing the program, citing its current rate of application approvals and eligible vehicle orders,

Point-of-sale incentives at showrooms and dealerships for the current fiscal year started last July, and the estimated $35 million money disbursed through the program this year will support the purchase or lease of more than 10,000 vehicles, BPU officials said. In total, the BPU anticipates the program will have provided more than $90 million in incentives for the lease or purchase of nearly 25,000 EV’s since it was launched in May 2020.

State officials say that at the end of the 2022, there were more than 91,000 electric vehicles on New Jersey roadways, and electric vehicles made up 8 percent of all new car sales for the year.

President Joe Biden has pushed an ambitious goal that half of new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. run on electricity by 2030, and New Jersey is among states that have had success with electric vehicle incentive programs. In Oregon, officials announced last month that they would temporarily suspend rebates as of next month because too many people are applying and the program is running out of money.

Electric vehicles now cost an average of more than $58,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, a price that’s beyond the reach of many U.S. households. Federal tax credits and other incentives are designed to bring prices down and attract more buyers.

Biden administration officials say that, over time, more EVs and parts will be manufactured in the U.S., creating a domestic supply chain and more jobs. The tax credits and other measures also will end U.S. dependence on China for parts and minerals, officials contend,

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New Jersey halts electric vehicle rebates, demand too high