New Jersey Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current New Jersey laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:
Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Tax Exemption
ZEVs sold, rented, or leased in New Jersey are exempt from state sales and use tax. This exemption does not apply to partial ZEVs, including hybrid electric vehicles. ZEVs are defined as vehicles that meet California Air Resources Board zero emission standards for that model year. For a list of qualified ZEV, see the New Jersey Department of the Treasury ZEV Sales Tax Exemption website. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 54:32B-8.55)
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
New Jersey Turnpike Authority (Authority) allows qualified plug-in electric vehicles to travel in the HOV lanes located between Interchange 11 and Interchange 14 on the New Jersey Turnpike. For more information, see the Authority Toll Rates website. (Reference 49 New Jersey Register 3236(b) and New Jersey Administrative Code 19:9-1.24)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Toll Discount Program
New Jersey Turnpike Authority's (Authority) Green Pass Discount Plan provides a 10% discount on off-peak New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway toll rates for drivers of vehicles that have a fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon or higher and meet the California Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard. Vehicles must register with New Jersey E-ZPass. For more information, including application instructions, see the E-ZPass Discount Programs website.
Clean Truck Replacement Program
The Regional Truck Replacement Program (Program) through the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey provides funding for up to 50% of the cost to replace a port drayage truck, up to $25,000. Eligible recipients include independent owner operators and licensed motor carriers servicing the port with drayage trucks equipped with Model Year 1996 to 2006 engines. Funding is limited to two replacement trucks per eligible applicant. Additional rules and conditions apply. For more information, see the Program website.
Reduced Propane Fuel Tax
The tax imposed on propane used to operate a motor vehicle is equal to half the tax paid on the sale or use of gasoline, or $0.0525 per gallon. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 54:39-103)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) provides grants through the It Pay$ to Plug In: New Jersey's Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Grant Program (Program) to support plug-in electric vehicle adoption and EVSE installation. Reimbursement grants are offered on a first-come, first-served basis for the cost and installation of eligible EVSE at workplaces, government and educational facilities, non-profits, parking facilities, and multi-unit dwellings.
The Program is part of New Jersey's Energy Master Plan. Applications have exceeded the program funding, but will still be accepted and placed on a waitlist (verified January 2020). For more information, including application and eligibility requirements, visit the Drive Green NJ website.
Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption
A NGV may exceed the state's gross vehicle weight limits by a weight equal to the difference between the weight of the vehicle with the natural gas tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable vehicle with a diesel tank and fueling system. The NGV maximum gross weight may not exceed 82,000 pounds. (Reference Senate Bill 3616, 2018)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grant Program
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) provides county and municipal government entities with grants up to $1,500 for Level 2 EVSE. Eligible EVSE must be purchased between December 1, 2019 and June 1, 2020. NJBPU is accepting applications until April 15, 2020 (verified December 2019). Funds are awarded on a rolling basis and subject to availability. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the Clean Fleet Electric Vehicle Incentive Program website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Grant Program
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) provides county and municipal government entities with grants up to $4,000 for the purchase of a new PEV. Two PEVs are allowed per applicant and must be purchased between December 1, 2019 and June 1, 2020. NJBPU is accepting applications until April 15, 2020. Funds are awarded on a rolling basis and subject to availability. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the Clean Fleet Electric Vehicle Incentive Program website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate Program
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities offers state residents a rebate in the amount of $25 per mile of all-electric range, up to $5,000, to purchase or lease a new PEV with an MSRP of $55,000 or less. Rebates may be limited to one award per person. PEVs must be purchased or leased after January 17, 2020. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle rebate expires December 31, 2022, and all-electric vehicle rebates expire June 30, 2030. For more information, see New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program Electric Vehicle Incentive Program website.
Laws and Regulations
Fuel Cell Task Force
The New Jersey Fuel Cell Task Force (Task Force) was established to increase fuel cell use in the state, including fuel cell electric vehicles. The Task Force will support the growth of fuel cell companies, increase fuel cell use in state departments and agencies, develop a plan to expand fuel cell infrastructure, as well as provide information and educational resources to the public, government, and industry on the benefits of fuel cell technology. The Task Force must submit a report to the governor and the legislature within a year after of its organization. (Reference Assembly Bill 741, 2020)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Deployment Goals
The State of New Jersey will work to increase the number of PEVs and related infrastructure to meet the following state goals:
- 10% of new buses purchased by the New Jersey Transit Corporation must be zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by December 31, 2024. Then 50% of new buses must be ZEV by December 31, 2026, and 100% must be ZEV by December 31, 2032.
- By December 31, 2025, there must be 400 direct-current fast chargers (DCFC) and 1,000 Level 2 EVSE installed and available for public use at minimally 200 locations. 75 locations must include at least two DCFC installed along travel corridors, while 100 locations must include at least two DCFC in community locations. Additionally, 15% of all multi-family residential properties must include EVSE infrastructure and 20% of all franchised overnight lodging must have EVSE available for guests.
- By December 31, 2035, there will be 2 million registered light-duty PEVs in the state, and 100% of state-owned, non-emergency light-duty vehicles must be PEVs.
- By December 31, 2040, 85% of all new light-duty vehicles sold in the state will be PEVs.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate Program Authorization
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is authorized to establish a residential EVSE incentive program. The maximum incentive an individual may receive for an EVSE installation is $500. (Reference Senate Bill 2252, 2018)
Public Utility Definition
An entity that owns, controls, operates, or manages electric vehicle supply equipment is not defined as a public utility. (Reference Senate Bill 2252, 2018)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Initiative
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase the number of ZEVs in the State and meet the State’s goal of registering 330,000 ZEVs by 2025 through involvement in the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In (Partnership). The responsibilities of the Partnership include:
- Mapping existing and potential locations for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE);
- Reviewing state- and municipal-level permit processes for the installation of EVSE and identifying best practices to streamline these processes;
- Expanding existing efforts to educate consumers about ZEVs;
- Evaluating strategies to finance an EVSE network;
- Developing a rebate program to incentivize the purchase of new and used ZEVs;
- Creating a method to track the usage of EVSE throughout the State;
- Identifying programs and resources that can be used to attract ZEV-related companies to the State; and
- Coordinating with other state agencies and departments to further implement the goals of the Partnership.
Volkswagen (VW) Settlement Allocation
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) must approve the allocation of any funds the State receives from the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust. Any funds received from the Trust are deposited in a non-lapsing VW Environmental Mitigation Fund. NJDEP and the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting will ensure that the funds are distributed in alignment with the purpose of the VW Mitigation Trust Agreement. NJDEP will approve criteria for grants awarded on a competitive basis.Funding is available for projects that convert diesel trucks, buses, port equipment, marine vessels, and trains to electric power and for electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects. Applications are due June 22, 2020. For more information, including how to apply and a list of eligible projects, visit the NJDEP and It Pay$ to Plug In website.(Reference Senate Bill 2019, 2018)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Access to Tunnels
An AFV powered by propane or natural gas may only use Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) tunnels and the lower level of the George Washington Bridge if the vehicle conforms to applicable federal regulations and industry standards, displays required markings to identify its alternative fuel system, and has a fuel capacity that does not exceed 150 pounds.An AFV powered by propane or natural gas may only use the Brigantine Connector Tunnel if the vehicle has a dedicated alternate fuel system installed by the manufacturer of the vehicle or a fuel system that has been properly converted to an alternate fuel system.
(Reference New Jersey Administrative Code 19:2-4.3)
Fuel Inefficient Vehicle Fee
New passenger vehicles meeting one of the following criteria are subject to an additional fee payable to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission:
- A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) average fuel efficiency economy rating of less than 19 miles per gallon (mpg); or
- A sales or lease price of $45,000 or more, prior to any credit or offset resulting from any rebate or trade-in.
(Reference New Jersey Statutes 39:3-8.4)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Production Requirements and Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards
New Jersey has adopted the California motor vehicle emissions standards and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. Manufacturers must meet the greenhouse gas emissions standard and the ZEV production and sales requirements. Under the state's LEV program, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection allows manufacturers who sell or lease qualified LEVs to earn and bank vehicle equivalent credits. (Reference New Jersey Administrative Code 7:27-29.1 through 7:27-29.14)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
New Jersey joined California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of ZEVs through involvement in a ZEV Program Implementation Task Force (Task Force). In May 2014, the Task Force published a ZEV Action Plan (Plan) identifying 11 priority actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including deploying at least 3.3 million ZEVs and adequate fueling infrastructure within the signatory states by 2025. The Plan also includes a research agenda to inform future actions. On an annual basis, each state must report on the number of registered ZEVs, the number of public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and hydrogen fueling stations, and available information regarding workplace fueling for ZEVs.
In June 2018, the Task Force published a new ZEV Action Plan for 2018-2021. Building on the 2014 Action Plan, the 2018 Action Plan makes recommendations for states and other key partners in five priority areas:
- Raising consumer awareness and interest in electric vehicle technology;
- Building out a reliable and convenient residential, workplace and public charging/fueling infrastructure network;
- Continuing and improving access to consumer purchase and non-financial incentives;
- Expanding public and private sector fleet adoption; and
- Supporting dealership efforts to increase ZEV sales.
For more information, see the Multi-State ZEV Task Force website.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).
By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium-duty and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.
For more information, see the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU.
Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI)
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia (D.C.), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia signed a Declaration of Intent to create the TCI, a regional initiative to improve transportation, develop a clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions and air pollutants from the transportation sector. The signatory states and D.C. agree to explore and develop policies and programs that result in greater energy efficiency of regional transportation systems and reduce emissions. Additionally, states support the deployment of clean vehicles and fueling infrastructure, such as electric vehicle supply equipment, to maximize the economic opportunities and emissions reductions. For more information, see the TCI website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Development
Municipal master plans shall promote the installation of EVSE in locations including commercial districts, public transportation facilities, transportation corridors, and rest stops. (Reference Senate Bill 606, 2019)
Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Task Force
The New Jersey Advanced AV Task Force (Task Force) was established to conduct a study on AVs, including evaluating the AV safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and make recommendations on laws, rules, and regulations that New Jersey may implement to safely integrate AVs in the state. The Task Force must submit a report to the governor and the legislature within 180 days of its first meeting. (Reference Assembly Joint Resolution 164, 2019)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales Regulations
A motor vehicle franchisor that exclusively manufacturers ZEVs and was licensed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission prior to January 1, 2014, can buy from and sell vehicles to a consumer. The franchisor can own or operate up to four sales locations in the state and must have at least one retail facility for servicing ZEVs sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed in the state. The franchisor is not required to establish or operate a sales location at a ZEV service facility. Annually, all motor vehicle franchises must report the number of ZEVs sold in the state within the prior calendar year to the New Jersey Division of Taxation. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 56:10-27.1 and 54:32B-8.55a)
Biodiesel is defined as the monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from plant or animals that meet the registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives established in Section 211 of the Clean Air Act, Title 42 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 7545, and the requirements of ASTM D6751. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 54:39-102)
Clean Truck Port Requirements
Only trucks equipped with engines that meet or exceed Model Year (MY) 2007 engine federal emissions standards are allowed to access the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) marine terminals. Drayage trucks operating on natural gas, electricity, or hybrid electric technology are exempt from these requirements. For the purpose of this rule, drayage trucks are defined as on-road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,001 pounds or greater and intended to load, unload, or transport cargo from PANYNJ terminals. Additional rules apply. For more information, see PANYNJ website.
Biofuel Use Requirements
To reduce fossil fuel dependence and statewide greenhouse gas emissions, New Jersey state departments, agencies, offices, universities, and colleges must purchase biofuels for use in motor vehicles if the cost of biofuel is the same or less than the cost of gasoline or diesel, and if the fuel replacement is reasonable. For the purpose of this requirement, a biofuel is a liquid or gaseous fuel produced from organic sources, including native noninvasive energy crops, agricultural residues, and non-recycled organic waste, such as waste cooking oil, grease, food wastes, sewage, and algae. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 52:34-6.6 through 52:34-6.8)
Low Emission or Alternative Fuel Bus Acquisition Requirement
All buses purchased by the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJTC) must be: 1) equipped with improved pollution controls that reduce particulate emissions; or 2) powered by a fuel other than conventional diesel. Qualifying vehicles include compressed natural gas vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, vehicles operating on biodiesel or ultra-low sulfur fuel, or vehicles operating on any other bus fuel approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If the NJTC is unable to meet the bus purchase requirement, the organization must submit a report to the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly detailing the reasons and the state legislature may grant an exemption. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 27:1B-22)
Idle Reduction Requirement
A gasoline-fueled motor vehicle is not allowed to operate for more than three consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion, with the following exceptions: 1) a vehicle stopped in a line of traffic; 2) a vehicle being inspected by a state or federal motor vehicle inspector; 3) an emergency vehicle operating in an emergency situation; 4) a vehicle being repaired or serviced; 5) a vehicle whose primary or secondary power source is used for a mechanical operation other than propulsion; and 6) a vehicle parked in a non-residentially zoned area with a sleeper berth being used for sleeping or resting. A gasoline bus loading or unloading passengers may idle for 15 consecutive minutes in a 60-minute period.
A diesel-fueled motor vehicle is not allowed to operate for more than three consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion. If the vehicle is not in a parking space equipped with idle reduction electrification technology, the following exceptions apply: 1) a vehicle stopped in a line of traffic; 2) a vehicle whose primary power source is used for a mechanical operation other than propulsion; 3) a vehicle being inspected by a state or federal motor vehicle inspector; 4) an emergency vehicle operating in an emergency situation; 5) a vehicle being repaired or serviced; 6) a vehicle with a sleeper berth that is equipped with a Model Year 2007 or newer engine and/or a functioning diesel particulate filter; and 7) a vehicle that uses a technology designed to reduce engine idling, such as auxiliary or alternate power units, generator sets, or bunk heaters. Additionally, diesel vehicles may idle for 15 consecutive minutes when the vehicle's engine has been stopped for at least three hours if the temperature is below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and a diesel bus loading or unloading passengers may idle for 15 consecutive minutes in a 60-minute period. Violators will be issued fines.
(Reference New Jersey Administrative Code 7:27-14.3 through 7:27-14.10 and 7:27-15.8)
Energy Master Plan
New Jersey has developed an Energy Master Plan (EMP) that will guide the State to achieve its goals of electrifying the transportation sector and achieving 100% carbon-neutral electricity generation by 2050. The EMP calls for decarbonization of the transportation sector through:
- Supporting the deployment of 330,000 light-duty electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025;
- Deploying electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) throughout the state;
- Creating incentives for EVSE;
- Educating consumers and fleet owners on EVs;
- Transitioning state fleet vehicles to EVs;
- Partnering with industry to develop incentives for medium- and heavy-duty battery electric or fuel-cell vehicles; and
- Exploring policies that accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels.
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
A low-speed vehicle is defined as a four-wheeled vehicle that is capable of achieving speeds of up to 20 miles per hour (mph) but not more than 25 mph on a paved surface, is not powered by gas or diesel fuel, and complies with federal safety standards as noted in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. A low-speed vehicle may operate on roadways with posted speed of up to 25 mph, or up to 35 mph in a municipality or county that has received a special ordinance or resolution. Additional registration and other requirements apply. (Reference New Jersey Statutes 39:4-31.1 through 39:4-31.2)
Emissions Reduction Requirements
Recognizing the impact of carbon-emitting fuels on climate change and seeking to foster economic growth in the state by spurring technological innovation, New Jersey established greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets. These targets include stabilization of GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and reduction of GHG emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. To reach this goal, the New Jersey Department of Treasury will develop specific targets and strategies for reducing GHG emissions by reducing the state motor fleet's fuel consumption. (Reference Executive Order 54, 2007)