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Murphy administration adopts zero-emission vehicle standards to improve air quality, fight climate change, promote clean vehicle choice

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette Tuesday announced the filing of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule for adoption on Dec. 18, setting the state on the road toward better air quality and cleaner choices for new car buyers while combatting the worsening climate crisis.

New Jersey joins a growing number of states that are requiring vehicle manufacturers to make zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) an increasing percentage of their new light-duty vehicle sales beginning in model year 2027, ramping up to 100% ZEVs by 2035.

The rule does not impose obligations on consumers or car dealers and provides compliance flexibilities for manufacturers. It requires manufacturers of passenger cars and light-duty trucks to meet an annual ZEV requirement intended to increase the percentage of electric vehicles sold in New Jersey. The rule also ensures that traditional gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles are manufactured to meet more stringent exhaust emission standards, which will positively impact air quality in New Jersey communities, especially those near high-traffic corridors.

The rule will take effect starting in model year 2027, providing time for auto industry transition and continued development of charging infrastructure and a more robust and cleaner electrical grid in New Jersey. It does not ban gasoline cars, nor does it force consumers to buy EVs. Rather, the rule will provide certainty to vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, utilities, and charging infrastructure companies to make the long-term investments that will be crucial to large-scale deployment of light-duty ZEVs and consumer choice.

“By filing the landmark Advanced Clean Cars II rule, New Jersey builds upon its standing as a national leader in climate action and its participation in the global Accelerating to Zero commitment,” Murphy said. “The steps we take today to lower emissions will improve air quality and mitigate climate impacts for generations to come, all while increasing access to cleaner car choices. Indeed, together with my Administration’s continuing investments in voluntary electric vehicle incentives, charging infrastructure, and the green economy, these new standards will preserve consumer choice and promote affordability for hardworking New Jerseyans across the state.”

“Cleaner cars and trucks mean cleaner air for our children and families, because the tailpipes of our own vehicles are a leading cause of poor local air quality,” LaTourette said. “As New Jersey transitions to a zero-emission vehicle future, we will improve our quality of life and public health. At the same time, we will reduce climate pollutants from the transportation sector, the greatest source of planet-warming pollution in New Jersey and the nation.”

The rule will be published in the Dec. 18 edition of the New Jersey Register. A courtesy, pre-publication copy of the rule will be posted in early December to the DEP Rules and Regulations webpage.

Emissions from the transportation sector constitute the largest source of climate pollution in New Jersey at 37% of those emissions. By increasing ZEV sales and the stringency of the multi-pollutant exhaust emission standards, the state will also reduce emissions of localized air pollution from nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that will provide important public health benefits, especially in urbanized areas and overburdened communities.

With the new rule, vehicle manufacturers must ensure that 43% of their annual production volume in 2027 is ZEVs. The percentage increases each year, peaking at 100 percent in 2035 and thereafter.

The adoption of the Advanced Clean Car II rule is an evolution of rules adopted by the DEP in 2006 which incorporated, by reference, California’s ZEV requirement and emission control standards for all model year 2009 and subsequent passenger cars and light-duty trucks.

Consumer demand for electric vehicles continues to rise. The number of EVs in New Jersey has grown to more than 123,000, representing 12 percent of new vehicle sales. Since just last December, sales have surged 50 percent.

In 2007, New Jersey’s Legislature passed the Global Warming Response Act (GWRA), N.J.S.A. 26:2C-37 et seq., which recognized that climate change, primarily caused by emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, poses a threat to the planet’s ecosystems and environment.

In 2019, the Legislature amended the GWRA to require the State to develop programs to reduce emissions of both greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants through a comprehensive strategy. In 2020, the Department released the GWRA 80×50 Report, which analyzed New Jersey’s emissions reductions, evaluated the plans for further reducing emissions, and presented a set of strategies across seven emission sectors, including transportation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2006 levels.

A successful EV transition through the Advanced Clean Car II rule depends on adequate access to charging infrastructure and sufficient charging points across the state, including home charging, which is the most convenient and frequently used, and usually the least-cost source of electricity for charging.

The Murphy Administration, through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Board of Public Utilities, Economic Development Authority, and Department of Transportation continues to advance funding and initiatives to develop charging infrastructure. Since 2019, the State has funded 2,980 charging stations with 5,271 ports at 680 locations.

The Administration continues to work toward the development and expansion of wind, solar, energy storage, and other clean energy technologies in New Jersey, while ensuring that infrastructure, interconnection, and electricity supply meet the increased charging demand of ZEV users.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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