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New $15M Pilot Program Incentivizes Use of Zero-Emission Vehicles in Camden, Newark

By rlsmetro on

Today, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board of Directors approved the New Jersey Zero-Emission Incentive Program (NJ ZIP).  

An official said in a statement $15 million pilot program will fund 100 to 300 vouchers ranging in value from $25,000 to $100,000 for businesses and institutional organizations in the greater Newark and Camden areas for the purchase of new, zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs).

According to officials, bonuses will be available for small businesses and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses. The NJEDA anticipates launching the program in the coming months. 

“NJ ZIP brings a tried-and-true model for increasing the adoption and use of zero-emission vehicles to New Jersey, with a focus on reducing emissions in the greater Camden and Newark areas,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “This is a critical step toward our environmental justice initiatives that I hope will spark the widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles across the state.”

“The adoption of zero-emission vehicles will reduce dangerous emissions within the greater Newark and Camden communities and drive future economic growth by creating jobs critical to supporting and accelerating adoption of these vehicles,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

“NJ ZIP moves us closer to these goals by providing a new resource that will enable businesses and institutions to invest in zero-emission vehicles. We will look to learn from this initial pilot program in two of the most over-burdened communities in our state, near major ports and transportation hubs, and if successful, we will look to expand to other regions.” 

“Increasing the use of zero-emissions vehicles is central to achieving the targets set out in the Energy Master Plan and the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

“NJ ZIP moves us toward these goals, in parallel with our other EV programs such as Charge Up New Jersey and hand-in-hand with Governor Murphy’s vision for a cleaner, healthier energy future.”  

“Together, we can spark real and lasting change to reduce greenhouse gases from New Jersey’s cars and trucks,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe.

“Transportation is by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, and most of these emissions come from commercial vehicles. NJ ZIP will enable businesses of all sizes, with a special emphasis on micro and small businesses, to replace their current medium-duty vehicles with zero-emission alternatives. 

Together with the DEP’s grant program, this important initiative will protect our environment, improve public health, and advance Governor Murphy’s environmental justice and clean energy goals.”

Transportation accounts for 42 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, more than double the second largest source's emissions. Specifically, medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) contribute to the majority of New Jersey’s transport-sector emissions.

For this reason, increasing the use of zero-emission vehicles is central to many State plans for protecting the environment, including Governor Phil Murphy’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, and the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan.

NJ ZIP is the first initiative in the State’s holistic, RGGI-funded effort to support the deployment of zero-emission MHDVs. The pilot program approved today allocates $15 million to provide vouchers to businesses and organizations purchasing new, class 2b to class 6 vehicles. The size of vouchers awarded through the program will vary depending on the class of vehicle being purchased, from a minimum of $25,000 for Class 2b vehicles to $100,000 for Class 6 vehicles.

Bonuses will be available for small businesses, women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses; vehicles manufactured in New Jersey; small businesses that scrap their eligible MHDVs; and vendors that invest in driver education and training. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/njzip.

Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with $5 million set aside for micro and small businesses. Initially, NJ ZIP will only be available in the greater Newark and greater Camden areas, defined as the overburdened communities within or intersected by a circle with a 10-mile radius centered on Newark and Camden.

Officials said NJ ZIP would be funded using proceeds from New Jersey’s participation in RGGI, a multi-state “cap-and-trade” program regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The State plans to deploy those funds within four initiative categories identified in the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan: catalyzing clean, equitable transportation; promoting blue carbon in coastal habitats; enhancing forests and urban forests; and creating a New Jersey Green Fund. More information about New Jersey’s plans for using RGGI funding is available https://www.nj.gov/rggi/index.html.