New Jersey becomes the most recent US state to admit it must put its electric vehicle incentives on hold since it's running out of money. The EV rebate program in the state is so popular, and EV demand has shot up so high in the US, that that funding is drying up.
New Jersey refers to its EV incentive program as "Charge Up New Jersey," and it has already used up some $35 million in funds for the program this fiscal year alone. While the fiscal year is supposed to continue through July 2023, the state's Board of Public Utilities has announced that all the funding it set aside for the program will be gone in the very near future, after offering rebates for more than an estimated 10,000 EVs this year.
The program offers New Jersey residents as much as $4,000 at the point of sale when they buy or lease a new electric car. This is enticing since many such incentives, including the federal government's newly revamped EV tax credit, come at tax time, and aren't necessarily available to a large number of consumers based on their individual tax situations.
Sadly, according to AP News, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities spokesman Peter Peretzman noted that he's not sure if the state will aim to increase the program's funding for the upcoming fiscal year.
Oregon residents will soon face a similar situation, and other states may follow suit, especially those on the US West Coast, where EV adoption tends to be much higher than in most other areas of the country. Oregon will see its electric car rebate program pause next month since more people than anticipated have applied for the program, and the money is almost gone.
Meanwhile, the new US federal EV tax credit offers up to $7,500 to customers purchasing a qualifying electric car. However, as mentioned above, the money comes as a credit at tax time, which provides little help to many people who can't take advantage of a tax credit and can't budget for the high upfront cost of an EV.
The US tax credit also has strict new rules that make it so very few of the available electric vehicles on our shores qualify. While many more are expected to qualify in the future, the options are somewhat limited for a time. Buyers may be able to benefit from a $3,750 federal tax credit on a longer list of EVs, but with some state and local incentives drying up, that may not be enough for many buyers.