Encouraging municipalities to plan for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at appropriate locations, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats James Kennedy, Gordon Johnson, Andrew Zwicker and Daniel Benson was signed into law by the Governor on Wednesday.
A report by the New Jersey Energy Master Plan Alternative Fuels Work Group identified the development, installation, and maintenance of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, both at home and at strategically selected public places, as one of the most significant opportunities for, and barriers to, advancing the deployment and use of EVs in New Jersey.
“Including charging systems in municipal land planning not only benefits the environment and environmentally conscious consumers, but the economy as well,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “Planning for and developing this infrastructure can help create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our reliance on foreign fuels.”
The law, formerly A-1371, will help improve and expand the state’s EV charging infrastructure by encouraging each municipality, at the time of the reexamination of its master plan, pursuant to the “Municipal Land Use Law,” to identify existing sites of public EV charging infrastructure, and propose locations for future development of public EV charging infrastructure.
The law also amends the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” providing that the development of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure, in appropriate locations, be considered for inclusion in local redevelopment plans.
“The lack of charging infrastructure can discourage people who are interested in electric vehicles, but are concerned about their recharging options,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road. Ensuring there are sufficient charging stations can help alleviate these consumer fears and encourage more people to invest in environmentally-friendlier vehicles.”
“Limited driving distance between battery charges is a fundamental disadvantage and obstacle to broad consumer adoption of vehicles powered by electricity,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “If we want to encourage more people to buy these vehicles, it is essential that a network of convenient electric vehicle charging opportunities be developed.”
“Although most EV charging occurs at home, drivers still rely on publicly available charging,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Planning ahead can help ensure that EV owners or consumers interested in electric vehicles will have the supporting infrastructure to meet their needs.”
The law will go into effect immediately.