New York, New Jersey get serious about electric cars


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ

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While parts of the federal government focus on sustaining fossil-fuel energy, numerous states are enacting new policies and programs to boost electric cars.

California tends to steal most headlines about electric vehicles and climate-change policy, but two other U.S. states have started to take electric cars more seriously.

New York and New Jersey have each ramped up efforts to incentivize electric cars and worked with private companies to expand charging infrastructure.

Nissan Leaf at West Coast Electric Highway charging station (Photo by Pine Mountain Sports)

Nissan Leaf at West Coast Electric Highway charging station (Photo by Pine Mountain Sports)

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New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently said electric-car sales had increased 74 percent since New York launched a statewide incentive of up to $2,000 called the "Drive Clean Rebate."

Sales jumped between March, when the rebate was enacted, and August of this year, according to Long Island.com.

The state's top plug-in vehicles aren't too surprising: they're the mass-priced Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Volt, and the Ford Fusion Energi.

In neighboring New Jersey, a similar rebate plan is now making its way through the legislative process.

NJ.com also reports that a new coalition led by Senator Bob Smith, called ChargEVC, is working on plans for a state-wide electric-car charging infrastructure that would support 300,000 plug-in cars by 2025.

EVgo electric-car fast-charging stations installed by Dec 2015 (light blue) and Jan 2017 (dark blue)

EVgo electric-car fast-charging stations installed by Dec 2015 (light blue) and Jan 2017 (dark blue)

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The senator said the infrastructure could help New Jersey deploy as many as 2 million electric cars in the state by 2035.

Additionally, the coalition has asked for $300 million to be allocated to a rebate program similar to New York's, which would reduce the cost of plug-in electric cars for buyers. 

Today, just 10,000 battery-electric cars are registered in New Jersey—which makes the coalition's goals quite lofty.

While the larger scope of New Jersey's plans is in the future, it's starting to tackle infrastructure now.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ

Enlarge Photo
EVgo charging station

EVgo charging station

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NRG eVgo electric-car charging station

NRG eVgo electric-car charging station

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PSE&G, a local utility company, and EVgo announced several new charging stations at rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Two fast chargers are present each of two rest stops, and they're free of charge to Nissan Leaf or BMW drivers enrolled in Nissan's "No Charge to Charge" or BMW's "ChargeNow" programs respectively.

Other electric-car drivers can pay a one-time fee for each charge, or get slightly lower rates through an EVgo subscription.

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