Many studies have shown drivers list a fear of running out of a charge on the road as a main reason they are reluctant to purchase an electric vehicle.
On Wednesday, the state’s Board of Public Utilities approved a plan that will help reduce what is known as “range anxiety.”
The BPU approved a plan by Public Service Electric & Gas to invest $166 million over the next six years in an effort to build out the state’s EV charging infrastructure. The program is expected to create 270 clean energy jobs. And peace of mind.
PSE&G officials said their EV investment program includes supporting the infrastructure for residential charging equipment, EV chargers at multifamily buildings, government facilities and at public parking lots, as well as fast charging infrastructure along high-traffic corridors such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. The program also includes provisions for discounted charging during off-peak hours.
The utility will not own EV chargers, but instead will support the infrastructure needed to place chargers throughout its service territory.
Karen Reif, vice president of PSE&G’s Renewables and Energy Solutions group, said greater EV adoption is critical to meeting the state’s clean energy goals. This plan will help spur more purchases, she said.
“The scarcity of public and private charging infrastructure discourages more people from driving electric vehicles,” she said. “PSE&G’s program will address those concerns and is designed to encourage people to make the switch to clean-running EVs and to help New Jersey enjoy the environmental and health benefits that will result from electrifying the transportation sector.”
Cars, trucks and buses are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and the New Jersey Energy Master Plan prioritizes electrifying the transportation sector as a key strategy to improve the state’s air quality and reduce health care costs. PSE&G’s program is expected to avoid 14 million metric tons of carbon emissions through 2035.
PSE&G’s program recognizes the widespread benefits of electric vehicles, including cleaner air, by displacing internal combustion engines. According to the American Lung Association, the widespread transition to zero-emission transportation technologies, including EVs, could lead to emissions reductions that could help New Jersey avoid premature deaths, prevent asthma attacks and lost workdays, and yield close to $2 billion in avoided health costs in 2050.
“Electrifying transportation is an important component of PSEG’s Powering Progress vision for a future in which we help our customers use less energy, ensure that the energy they use is cleaner and that energy is delivered more reliably than ever,” Reif said.
The approval by the BPU follows its approval in September of PSE&G’s $1 billion investment in energy efficiency, and its decision earlier this month to allow PSE&G to invest approximately $700 million to provide its 2.3 million electric customers with smart meters. Each of these programs will advance PSE&G’s landmark Clean Energy Future proposal, an initiative designed to lower energy costs, reduce air pollution, create jobs and help make New Jersey a leader in clean energy.
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