N.J. expands program that allows businesses in certain urban areas to offset purchase of zero-emission vehicles

The New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program, the pilot program that state launched earlier this year in an effort to offset the cost of new zero-emission medium-duty vehicles by businesses and nonprofits, is expanding in the money available and the areas eligible to apply for it.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced Wednesday that the program is getting an additional $9.25 million in funding and is being made available in the greater New Brunswick area.

The program, known as NJ ZIP, was launched with $15 million for those in Newark and Camden. It has been a success. As of Wednesday, 38 applications have been submitted to the program, representing 148 zero-emission vehicles, and nearly reaching full subscription of the initial $15 million voucher pool.

Gov. Phil Murphy has been pleased by the response.

“Historically overburdened communities have borne the brunt of the impact of global warming for far too long,” he said. “NJ ZIP is an important part of our administration-wide environmental justice effort to level the playing field, improve community health outcomes and connect local New Jersey businesses with resources to take control of their vehicle emissions.”

As in the initial phase of the NJ ZIP pilot program, businesses and organizations in the three designated communities can apply for vouchers to purchase new, Class 2b to Class 6 zero-emission MDVs.

The size of vouchers awarded through the program varies depending on the class of vehicle being purchased, from a minimum of $25,000 for Class 2b vehicles to $100,000 for Class 6 vehicles. Bonuses are available for small businesses (fewer than 25 staff or less than $5 million in annual revenues); women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses; vehicles that are manufactured in New Jersey; and small businesses that scrap their eligible MHDVs.

More information on eligibility and processes is available here.

“Getting more zero-emission vehicles on the roads is a key step in New Jersey’s response to climate change and improving health outcomes in our overburdened communities — and just makes good economic sense for our small businesses,” EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said.

“We are excited to see such a robust and diverse response to our pilot program, and are thrilled that the funding announced today will allow us to bring NJ ZIP to more communities within our state, making strides toward Gov. Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer — and greener — New Jersey.”

In addition to municipalities in the greater Newark and greater Camden areas, the following communities in the greater New Brunswick area, defined as the overburdened communities within or intersected by a circle with a 10-mile radius centered on New Brunswick, are now eligible to participated in the NJ ZIP Program following the expansion:

Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Clark, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Franklin, Green Brook, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Jamesburg, Manville, Metuchen, Middlesex, Monroe, Montgomery, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, North Plainfield, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Raritan, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Somerville, South Amboy, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, South River, Spotswood and Woodbridge.