New Jersey’s electric vehicle incentive plan enters its next phase, the state’s Board of Public Utilities wants more mileage out of its money.  

The state board’s Charge Up program plans to reduce its maximum incentive for the 2023 fiscal year to $4000 in an attempt to “allow the existing funding to go further and provide more incentives for EVs in New Jersey,” according to BPU records.  

Recently, the program provided residents up to $5000 off the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric models that were less than $55,000.  

Since its launch in 2019, the program has closed intermittently due to lack of funding. Jim Appleton of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive retailers has said that this risk continues. He also has said that the funding may be gone by mid-September if BPU officials do not petition the Legislature for more money.  

Many have said that the $35 million in funding is an inadequate amount to meet the needs of New Jersey’s EV goals and the representatives from the New Jersey Electric Vehicle Association have called for $136.4 million in annual funds. 

They have also asked for a $4000 incentive that is fixed, rather than a two-tiered system with $2000 and $4000 limits that BPU is designed to extend the available funds. 

 Jim Appleton has said: “New Jersey has been very aggressive with its goals. In order to meet those goals, it needs to put its money where its mandates are. While $4,000 is good, $5,000 is better … though $4,000 may be plenty if the federal government is going to boost the tax incentive.” 

A BPU statement said the Charge Up program is designed to provide funding for residents who would not purchase an EV. It is not, however, designed to incentivise every EV purchased in the state. It is “funded to ensure funding for those who access the program while it is open,” according to the BPU. 

New Jersey officials are aiming to have at least 330,000 light-duty plug-in EVs by the end of 2035 as in December 2021, records show that there were fewer than 65,000.