BPU EV truck and bus charging initiative praised by leading environmental group

The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading international nonprofit organization based in New York City, applauded the revised electric truck and bus charging initiative proposal released by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities just before the holiday break.

The proposal is designed to get New Jersey ready for increased adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The draft includes a strong program that will get New Jersey closer to reaching its goals of 30% of truck and bus sales being zero-emission by 2030 and the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which requires medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers to increase their production of zero-emissions vehicles until model year 2035, when at least 55% of all new trucks sold in New Jersey are projected to be electric.

Mary Barber, director of state affairs for the EDF, said the proposal could have strong impact if implemented.

“The revised New Jersey Board of Public Utilities medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging ecosystem straw proposal is a step in the right direction to help the state meet its climate goals and ensure historically overburdened communities realize the benefits of cleaner air and improved health,” she said. “We are reviewing this proposal and look forward to working with the board, utilities and other stakeholders in the new year.”

As is the case most everywhere in the U.S., transportation is a leading cause of local air pollution in New Jersey. Trucks are the biggest contributor.

With investments from federal programs, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, Barber said New Jersey is poised to make significant progress on electrifying the transportation sector.

In 2020, New Jersey signed on to a multistate memorandum calling for 30% of truck and bus sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and, in 2021, it adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks rule.

New Jersey’s 2019 Energy Master Plan also calls for electrification of the state’s transit fleet, industry partnerships to develop electrification incentives, and expansion of clean transportation options in low- and moderate-income communities that are disproportionately impacted by diesel pollution.