N.J. electric vehicle mandate getting a mixed reaction


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A new poll finds a significant number of New Jersey residents don’t support plans to phase out the sale of all new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035.

“Strong opposition is actually a plurality among New Jerseyans, with 35% saying they strongly oppose it, and another 15% saying they somewhat oppose it,” said Ashley Koning, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Last November, Governor Phil Murphy announced the state would adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II program, joining about a dozen other states adopting some or all of the standards set by California. By 2035, all newly sold cars and light duty trucks in the state need to be either battery electric, plug-in hybrids or fuel cell vehicles.

Murphy said the move would improve air quality, provide cleaner choices for new car buyers, and lower the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The poll finds state residents agree the new rules would improve the state’s air quality and as a result, public health. But Koning said those same respondents are not optimistic about the impact the mandate might have on their own bottom line as well as the state’s financial well-being.

“When it comes to the economy 30% think the policy will have a positive impact, and 44% negative,” said Koning. “Then when it comes to their own personal finances, just 19% believe it will have a positive effect, whereas 47% say a negative one.”

The survey also finds more than half of those polled say they are “not very likely to consider” buying an electric vehicle because of EV associated costs.

Doug O’Malley, the director of Environment New Jersey said the poll reveals a lack of public knowledge about EV costs. He points to a federal tax credit of $7,500 that kicked in this year.


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