Roadmap 2.0: Advocacy group lays out plans to (quickly) increase electrified vehicle usage

Advocacy group ChargEVC-NJ puts electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles at top of its recommendations

In 2017, when vehicle electrification still was viewed by many as more of a sci-fi idea that might not be practical for daily driving, ChargEVC-NJ released Roadmap 1.0, which was focused primarily on increasing light-duty EV adoption.

This week, following achievements in the goals outlined in the original roadmap — coupled with a sincere interest and push from both Gov. Phil Murphy and President Joe Biden — ChargEVC-NJ released Roadmap 2.0, which aims to advance goals that would further New Jersey’s position as an EV market leader.

Among the recommendations is an increase of electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

The release comes a few days after Biden called for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030.

Pam Frank, the founder and CEO of ChargEVC-NJ, said vehicle electrification is a way to help the country achieve the aim.

“Transportation will play an essential role in reaching this goal,” she said. “The goals and actions in Roadmap 2.0 represent the minimum level of action needed to ensure New Jersey does its part in contributing to national goals.

“Roadmap 2.0 includes the high-impact initiatives necessary in the light-, medium- and heavy-duty segments to ensure that the associated benefits accrue equitably to all New Jerseyans.”

ChargEVC-NJ is a not-for-profit coalition of diverse stakeholders that includes retail automotive dealers, utilities, consumer and equity advocates, environmental and labor organizations, and technology companies.

Frank said she is confident ChargEVC-NJ can help. She said she has seen great progress since the release of Roadmap 1.0.

“Our first market development roadmap focused primarily on increasing light-duty EV adoption,” she said. “Over the past four years, ChargEVC-NJ has worked with state agencies, market participants and other stakeholders to make New Jersey a national market leader in EV adoption.

In that time, the state has enacted a nation-leading EV law, implemented a widely successful EV rebate program, gained approval of two EV filings with the Board of Public Utilities, announced upcoming draft rules to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck Rules as seen in California, among a host of other investments of VW Settlement and RGGI funding into transportation electrification initiatives, Frank said.

Roadmap 2.0 provides a comprehensive plan building off the recent successes in the light-duty sector and expands to actions that must be taken in the medium- and heavy-duty sectors.

Some of the notable additions include:

  • Compressing the light-duty vehicle rebate program into a five-year program (through 2025), rather than over 10 years, so that a) The rebates can be available when they are most needed, in directly support of the 2025 goals; and b) To avoid the harmful stop/start cycles that have emerged with the current program;
  • Setting goals for medium-/heavy-duty vehicle electrification, consistent with the Advanced Clean Truck requirements established in California when scaled to the New Jersey MHDV fleet population;
  • Recommendations for refining the class-level ACT goals to further quantify specific adoption goals for certain high-priority vehicle types and applications. These include transit buses, school buses, delivery and shuttle vehicles, short-haul drayage trucks and refuse trucks;
  • Recommendations for state investment in medium-/heavy-duty vehicle electrification through incentive or voucher programs;
  • A renewed focus on ensuring electrification solutions reach all communities equitably. Roadmap 2.0 highlights the need for the establishment of electric fleets, taxis and ride share services, public transit and school buses, and other advanced mobility services that directly cater to LI/EJ communities;
  • An expansion of regional market development focus. The desired high levels of EV adoption will require coordination across state and other boundaries. This will include continued participation in the California ZEV program, Medium-/Heavy-Duty MOU and other relevant regional initiatives that can bring additional revenue for needed investments such as the Transportation Climate Initiative. Efforts must also include constructive engagements with PJM and other stakeholders to promote reliable, cost-effective, and equitable integration of vehicle charging into the PJM markets, and transmission and distribution infrastructure planning.

Frank said Roadmap 1.0 set multiple goals that were eventually implemented in the EV law, including the EV adoption goal of 330,000 vehicles on the road by 2025.

Roadmap 2.0, she said, reinforces the initiatives set forth in 2017 and expands upon those goals to account for New Jersey’s rapidly growing EV market.