NJEDA – Expansion will Bring Popular NJ ZIP Program to Greater New Brunswick Area & Build on Successful Pilot Program

Building on the momentum generated since the launch of the New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program (NJ ZIP) pilot program earlier this year, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced a $9.25 million expansion of the popular clean energy initiative. The initial $15 million voucher pilot program launched earlier this year to help businesses and institutions in the greater Camden and greater Newark areas offset the cost of purchasing new, zero-emission medium-duty vehicles (MDVs). Through the expansion announced today, the NJEDA will broaden access to the pilot program to include qualified businesses and institutions in the greater New Brunswick area. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and can found at http://www.njeda.com/njzip.

“Historically overburdened communities have borne the brunt of the impact of global warming for far too long,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “NJ ZIP is an important part of our Administration-wide environmental justice effort to level the playing field, improve community health outcomes, and connect local New Jersey businesses with resources to take control of their vehicle emissions.”

As of today, 38 applications have been submitted to the program, representing 148 zero-emission vehicles, and nearly reaching full subscription of the initial $15 million voucher pool. In alignment with Governor Murphy’s vision to create equitable economic opportunities, targeted program outreach has resulted in more than 75 percent of the purchaser applicants being small or micro-businesses and over 50 percent certified as minority- and/or woman-owned businesses. All applicants approved to date will operate and/or register their vehicles within the greater Camden or greater Newark areas, positively contributing to emission reductions in overburdened communities. By expanding program eligibility and funding, the NJEDA anticipates building on this foundation to reach more local communities and businesses.

“Getting more zero-emission vehicles on the roads is a key step in New Jersey’s response to climate change and improving health outcomes in our overburdened communities – and just makes good economic sense for our small businesses,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We are excited to see such a robust and diverse response to our pilot program, and are thrilled that the funding announced today will allow us to bring NJ ZIP to more communities within our state, making strides toward Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer – and greener – New Jersey.”

As in the initial phase of the NJ ZIP pilot program, businesses and organizations in the three designated communities can apply for vouchers to purchase new, Class 2b to Class 6 zero-emission MDVs. The size of vouchers awarded through the program varies depending on the class of vehicle being purchased, from a minimum of $25,000 for Class 2b vehicles to $100,000 for Class 6 vehicles. Bonuses are available for small businesses (fewer than 25 staff or less than $5M in annual revenues); women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses; vehicles that are manufactured in New Jersey; and small businesses that scrap their eligible MHDVs. More information on eligibility and processes is available at https://www.njeda.com/njzip.

In addition to municipalities in the greater Newark and greater Camden areas, the following communities in the greater New Brunswick area, defined as the overburdened communities within or intersected by a circle with a 10-mile radius centered on New Brunswick, are now eligible to participated in the NJ ZIP Program following the expansion:

Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Clark, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Franklin, Green Brook, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Jamesburg, Manville, Metuchen, Middlesex, Monroe, Montgomery, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, North Plainfield, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Raritan, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Somerville, South Amboy, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, South River, Spotswood, Woodbridge

In early 2020, Governor Murphy unveiled the state’s Energy Master Plan, which outlines key strategies to reach the Administration’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. In May 2018, the Governor’s Executive Order No. 28 directed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), in partnership with other state agencies, to develop this statewide clean energy plan and shift away from energy production that contributes to climate change.

“As part of its sweeping clean energy initiatives the Murphy Administration has implemented a robust electric vehicle program to address the fact that the transportation sector accounts for 46 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “These programs include NJ ZIP, the Charge-Up New Jersey electric vehicle incentive program for consumers and the Clean Fleet Electric Vehicle Incentive program for government entities. NJ ZIP is an innovative and effective way to drive down the Garden State’s carbon footprint. We applaud the NJEDA’s expansion of this program into the greater New Brunswick area.”

Similar to the initial round of NJ ZIP funding, this expansion will continue to be funded using proceeds from New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state “cap-and-trade” program regulating carbon dioxide emissions, that New Jersey was rejoined by Executive Order of Governor Murphy in 2019. The State is deploying those funds within four initiative categories identified in the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan: catalyzing clean, equitable transportation; promoting blue carbon in coastal habitats; enhancing forests and urban forests; and creating a New Jersey Green Fund. More information about New Jersey’s plans for using RGGI funding is available https://www.nj.gov/rggi/index.html.

“With Governor Murphy’s leadership, we rejoined our neighbors throughout the northeast in fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions and investing in the electrification of medium and heavy duty vehicles and port equipment, which improves air quality in some of our most overburdened environmental justice communities,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “Continued investments in creative programs like NJ ZIP demonstrate that we can support New Jersey businesses as we improve our environment and protect public health.”

Vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a continued focus on outreach and engagement to the micro and small business community. Based on the continued positive results of this expansion of the pilot program, additional expansions or a longer-term program with expanded eligibility may be proposed.


Article Courtesy of the NJEDA