The Senate Environment and Energy Committee today advanced Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation that would expand access to charging stations for drivers of electric vehicles.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Pennacchio that would encourage gasoline stations to add electric vehicle charging stations was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. (Wikimedia Commons)
Pennacchio’s bill (S-938) streamlines the approval process for installing recharge portals at gasoline service stations, making it more convenient for drivers to plug in and “fill up” their batteries.
“The number of electric vehicles on New Jersey roads is growing, and the trend will only increase in the future,” said Pennacchio. “This bill would help the availability of charging locations keep pace with the expanding usage of zero-emission transportation.”
There were 26,000 electric cars in the state a year ago, and the number continues to expand. A law signed in January providing a $5,000 rebate on the sale of electric vehicle fueled a buying surge and more than 1,800 rebate applications had been filed with the state.
“The popularity of Tesla and other plug-in transportation is obvious,” Pennacchio said. “With the gas tax increase kicking in at the end of the month, New Jersey will have one of the highest fuel surcharges in the nation. The cost of gasoline, along with sales tax incentives available now, will make it even easier to justify the expense of going electric.”
The intent of the bill is to establish a uniform state policy for the construction and availability of recharge stations for electric cars at gasoline stations.
Under the bill, electric installations would be permitted at gas stations without the need for them to file additional applications or go through more bureaucratic red tape. These locations have already received zone approval to operate as a gas station and owners should not have to jump through more hoops to install a charging station.
“There are 565 municipalities in the state,” said Pennacchio. “The last thing we need is every one of them establishing different rules for adding charging facilities to gas stations. My bill would simplify the process and make more charging opportunities available to drivers.”
To meet state clean air goals, 330,000 zero emission vehicles are needed by 2025.
“The environment and public health benefit when we get more electric cars on the road,” said Pennacchio. “Cutting emissions reduces air pollution. My legislation will help expand the charging network to keep pace with demand and help New Jersey families breathe easier.”