New Jersey Hits Pedal to Speed Up Clean Energy by 2035

New Jersey
The New Jersey State House. (pabrady/Getty Images)

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New Jersey’s governor issued orders to accelerate 100% clean energy by 2035 and offer new incentives for heavy-duty electric vehicles.

In three executive orders signed Feb. 15, Gov. Phil Murphy outlined six major efforts to direct the state toward a clean energy future.

“These bold targets and carefully crafted initiatives signal our unequivocal commitment to swift and concrete climate action today,” Murphy said. “We’ve turned our vision for a greener tomorrow into a responsible and actionable roadmap to guide us, and it’s through that pragmatic, evidence-based approach that we will ultimately arrive at our destination.”

By enacting Executive Order No. 315, Murphy accelerated the state’s goal for 100% clean energy by 2035, up from 2050. It also defined clean energy as 100% of the electricity sold there coming from clean sources by Jan. 1, 2035.

Murphy’s mandates also involve allocating $70 million to lower upfront consumer costs for buying medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles. Another part of his plan will be to launch activities with stakeholders to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II in New Jersey initiative requiring all new cars and light-duty truck sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy


“We are thrilled to see a roadmap to 100% clean electricity, meaningful commitments to electrify buildings, vans, trucks, and buses and updated coastal rules to protect families and businesses — all as we step up efforts to protect our communities from the impacts of climate change,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

In January, the state’s Board of Public Utilities announced it will accept applications through May 12 for grants in a $16.1 million program to help pay for private fleet and community EV chargers for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

“Medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses make up 25% of New Jersey’s transportation sector emissions — not to mention they are also a major and disproportionate contributor to localized air pollution — even though they are only about 4% of the vehicles on the road,” Joseph Fiordaliso, public utilities board president, stated Jan. 12. “Through smart and strategic programs and investments, like those featured in this charging program, we can achieve cleaner air in overburdened communities and cost savings for business owners.”

Funds can only be used for chargers (up to six per location) that are direct current fast chargers with a capacity of at least 150 kilowatt hours. Winning projects must show approval from the applicant’s electric distribution company. Applicants can apply for both community and private fleets, but each location will be eligible to receive funds for no more than six chargers.

The other two orders call for collaborative planning with the state’s natural gas utilities and set goals to electrify the state’s building sector (which includes installing by 2030 zero-carbon-emission space heating and cooling systems in 400,000 homes and 20,000 commercial properties).

“This accelerated new goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 bumps up the timeline for achieving a clean energy transition by 15 years and takes a significant and needed step to meet the urgency of the climate crisis,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, director of New Jersey Sierra Club.

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