New Jersey Puts Brakes on Electric Vehicle Rebate as Popularity of Incentive Causes Funding Shortage

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
April 19, 2023Business News

New Jersey has paused a government incentive for residents who are looking to buy or lease an electric vehicle (EV). The temporary halt on the government rebate is due to the popularity of the program, which is rapidly running out of money as a result.

New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities reported that the Charge Up New Jersey program has splashed out an estimated $35 million for the fiscal year ending this July. In light of current application approvals and eligible vehicle orders, however, all associated funding will soon be depleted.

The program, which is now in its third year, grants state residents up to $4,000 towards buying or leasing a new electric vehicle.

“The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today announced Year Three of the popular Charge Up New Jersey Program, its electric vehicle (EV) incentive initiative, is expected to obligate all funds by Monday, April 17,” according to a statement by the Board.

The average price for EVs is now close to $60,000, according to Kelley Blue Book vehicle valuations. This figure is beyond what most U.S. households can afford, however. Consequently, incentives exist in the form of federal tax credits and other initiatives to lower the price and attract more buyers.

According to an estimate by the board, the program will facilitate the purchase or lease of more than 10,000 vehicles this fiscal year.

Additionally, the board anticipates that the program will be back up and running again at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. According to Peter Peretzman, a spokesman for the board, it is currently uncertain whether additional funding will be made available for the next year.

The program is estimated to have offered more than $90 million in incentives, which went towards the lease or purchase of nearly 25,000 EVs since the program was launched three years ago.

Electric vehicles accounted for 8 percent of total new car sales in New Jersey in 2022. By the end of last year, more than 91,000 electric vehicles were cruising the state’s road system.

New Jersey is not the only state in which EV incentives have proven exceedingly popular. A similar program launched in Oregon will also come to a halt due to a flurry of applications and a lack of available funds.

Car Pollution Limits

A recent proposal by the Biden administration would apply strict car pollution limits, effectively requiring two-thirds of new vehicle sales in the United States to be electric vehicles by 2032—or an almost tenfold increase over current electric vehicle sales.

Nevertheless, many Americans are reportedly still not convinced that going electric is the way forward. A recent poll suggests that high prices and a lack of charging stations are the main deterrents.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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