Murphy, despite big push for EV sales, may be eliminating sales tax break for buyers

Hmmm. This doesn’t seem like something that will spur sales among an already-hesitant public.

While the state of New Jersey is requiring all new cars to be electric in 2035 (it’s part of a phase-in that will require 51% of 2028 cars to be electric vehicles), New Jersey residents may no longer get a sales tax break on the purchase.

The proposed budget Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week (to be clear, it’s just a proposal) will end the sales tax break that purchasers of EVs have received since 2004.

State officials have said the state will shift to finding other incentives for drivers of EVs, including the Charge Up New Jersey program that could provide up to $4,000 in rebates.

The push toward EVs has long been a contentious issue in the state.

While most acknowledge EVs would be good for the environment, how the state reaches its aggressive goals (which match other states) remains to be seen.

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Feb. 20 indicated that half of all New Jersey residents did not support Murphy’s EV goal, which was announced last November.

The poll results mirrored what car dealerships have been saying for a while, as it  found the majority of residents (56%) were against the new technology (even though they feel it will be good for the environment).

Some elected officials have spoken out against the goals, too.

Last November, state Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) said the goals were too aggressive — and said he questioned whether the state could have the infrastructure to handle such an increase of EVs.

The move toward EVs has been slow. Last summer, there only were approximately 125,000 EVs on the road, which accounts for less than 2% of the approximately 6 million cars on the road.

The average cost of an EV is about $5,000 more than a gas-powered car, so seemingly some incentive will be needed. What that is, remains to be seen.