Camden County Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive Touts Needs To Expand EV Charging Stations To Make It Easier To Plug In
Pennsauken, NJ -- On the banks of the Cooper River at the Camden County Boathouse, Environment New Jersey and Jersey Renews joined with community and legislative leaders to advocate for greater electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state and Camden County to make it easier to make the transition to electric vehicles. The Camden County Boathouse includes an electric vehicle charger and the event included a vast showcase of the diversity of electric vehicles on the market.
“Electric vehicles are here now, and New Jersey needs to do more to make it easier to plug in,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “Electrifying our transportation sector is one of the most critical things we can do fight air pollution and climate change. By taking steps to improve our EV infrastructure and accelerate the transition to electric transportation, New Jersey can create the road map for other states to follow. Passing the electric vehicle omnibus bill is the best way to supercharge this transition to electric vehicles.”
Environmental and transportation advocates called on state leaders to pass S2252/A4819 to address pollution from cars, trucks and buses in New Jersey. The omnibus electrification bill would create stronger cash incentives for EV buyers and install more than 1,000 EV charging stations over the next two years in our downtowns and along high-traffic roadways. It directs NJ Transit to electrify their bus fleet and ensures development of advanced mobility solutions and other transportation alternatives that serve environmental justice communities.
“Environment New Jersey is rightfully bringing attention to energy-efficient and renewable options with their electric vehicle showcase events,” said Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01). “By embracing our clean-energy future, our country can add good paying-jobs and improve the economy overall. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, our economy and our national security, let’s work together to limit pollutants and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
“It’s encouraging to see industry focused on the next generation of environmentally safe transportation options that won’t leave our children and grandchildren with a more polluted world,” said Assemblyman William Spearman (D-5). “Establishing a 21st century electric vehicle charging infrastructure would be an important step toward the goal of eliminating greenhouse gases from our transportation system.”
In the most densely populated state in the country, with 9 million people, we have more than 3 million registered vehicles, and we suffer from some of the worst regional air pollution. According to the American Lung Association’s 2019 State of the Air report, Camden County failed to meet ozone protection levels under current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health standards. Camden County suffered 31 orange alert days and has more than 43,000 children and adult asthmatics.
“New Jersey new car and truck dealers are all-in on electric vehicles,” said Jim Appleton, President of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. “With an extensive network of more than 500 locations across the state to display, demonstrate and service electric vehicles, New Jersey’s neighborhood new car dealers offer the best, most promising way to market and promote EVs to the broadest cross-section of potential new car buyers. Consumers are just now becoming aware that New Jersey new car dealers currently offer more than 60 models of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles from 25 different manufacturers. And the really exciting news is that dozens more are expected in the next few years.”
Camden County can benefit from electrifying the cars, trucks, and buses that travel throughout the region, but needs more than just 18 charging stations already installed in the county to support that transition. Governor Murphy recently announced the NJ Partnership to Plug-In to help overcome the roadblocks facing electric vehicles, which include the lack of charging stations and the affordability gap consumers face when it comes to buying cleaner cars.
“We’re looking very closely at how Collingswood can incorporate more resources for electric vehicles,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “It’s not a light lift but we are on board for making greener options more readily available for everyone in the Borough. It’s important these kinds of initiatives are supported from the municipal to the federal level and everywhere in between if we expect to have any impact on our planet.”
This February, NJDEP announced the first round of VW settlement money for EV charging stations in 55 municipalities and counties including 2 Level 2 chargers for Haddon Heights, 2 for Cherry Hill, 16 at Rutgers-Camden, and 2 for Camden County. The announcement also included funding for an NJ Transit pilot of eight electric buses in Camden city.
“Increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road is a crucial step to meeting New Jersey’s emissions reduction goals,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of New Jersey Work Environment Council. “Transitioning our transportation infrastructure to electric is an opportunity to create good paying jobs, improve public health by reducing air pollution along well-traveled routes and mitigate our impact on the changing climate.”
Our cars and trucks emit tailpipe pollution, including ozone, the main ingredient in smog that can trigger asthma attacks. Not surprisingly, the transportation sector is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. But with statewide action, New Jersey could become a national leader and model for addressing climate change by encouraging widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
“We can’t overstate the importance of changing hearts and minds by simply driving an electric vehicle. You will experience that it is superior in every way,” said Pam Frank, Vice President of Gabel Associates and CEO of ChargEVC. “These cars are CLEAN and POWERFUL, making them the superhero of the auto world.”
The Assembly should support bill A4819 and jumpstart New Jersey’s electric vehicle revolution. The bill will need to be heard and voted on in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee before it can move to a floor vote. The Senate companion, S2552, already passed the Senate Environment Committee last October. The current legislative session will end in January 2020.
“For New Jersey to combat climate change and meet our goals to reduce emissions, we have to adjust how we get around by expanding options such as public transit. And for trips that have to be made by car, we also need more people to be driving electric cars,” said Morgan Folger, Clean Cars Advocate for Environment New Jersey.
Environment New Jersey is a statewide policy and action group. Our staff and members work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment.