Survey: State’s EV-only new car policy doesn’t match buying habits of company cars

NJBIA Outlook poll shows 91% of businesses that have corporate fleets have all-gas powered vehicles — and aren’t eager to switch

The plan to go all-EV doesn’t match the current feelings of the business community. Not by a long shot.

In the always-telling 65th Annual Business Outlook Survey, released this week by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, 91% of businesses that had company cars had fleets that were all gas-powered. Only 2%, in fact, had fleets that were entirely EVs or hybrids.

Of those who have all-gas powered fleets, 56% said their next purchase would be as such.

There is this: Approximately 1 in 3 all-gas buying companies (36%) said they would consider an EV, even though they had concerns about cost and mileage range. Only 8% said their next vehicle definitely would be an EV or hybrid.

Here’s the problem: Buying an EV for your business may not be an option for very long.

The recent mandate by the state says all new cars sold by 2035 must be EVs.

The impact of the mandate (which could be overturned by the courts or a future administration) starts quickly. The state has said 51% of all new model year 2028 cars sold must be EVs, with that number rising each year until 2035.

The mandate did not go over well with those taking the survey.

Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) said they were strongly opposed (59%) or somewhat opposed (14%) to the mandate — while just 19% said they strongly or somewhat supported the rule.

NJBIA CEO Michele Siekerka said the findings are telling.

“The lesson we can take here is EV usage will grow, as will its accompanying technologies,” she said. “But New Jersey should let the marketplace dictate that and avoid mandates that don’t allow for appropriate infrastructure or affordability in a too-compressed timeframe.”

Energy was a big issue on the survey, with 52% saying increased energy costs have been a detriment to their business over the past two years. Of those, the top reasons listed were:

  • Made less profits (81%);
  • Increased prices for goods and services (74%);
  • Reduced workforce costs (staff/compensation/benefits) (28%);
  • Reduced usage of utilities (20%);
  • Used lower-cost materials to produce final products (10%).