New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released an official “road map” to achieve the state’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to reach this objective, officials said, the state needs to put at least 110,000 new EVs on the road every year through 2025, and to phase out fossil fuel burners by 2035. According to the plan, utility regulators and other state agencies need to “facilitate a complete transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles.”
Of course, road maps and proposals, like concept vehicles, can only present a vision of a possible future—any concrete policy would require action by the state’s Governor and/or legislature.
New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has not specifically endorsed any ban, but he did describe the road map as “a call to action for all of us in government and in New Jersey to roll up our sleeves and craft the next generation of climate-focused laws and policies.”
New Jersey’s legislature has been “pretty willing to entertain clean energy initiatives,” according to Pam Frank, CEO of EV advocacy group ChargEVC. She seems to think a fossil ban has a chance of becoming a reality. “Two years ago, I would’ve said, are you crazy? We can’t even talk about a ban. I think that’s a conversation today,” she said.
Bans have been under discussion in a couple of other states. Washington’s legislature considered a 2030 ban earlier this year, but the bill failed to pass. Colorado officials have also developed a plan that includes a zero-emissions mandate, but it did not specify a timeline.