Massachusetts and New Jersey invest millions of dollars in electric vehicles

February 19, 2021

Tyson Fisher

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Two Northeast states are investing millions of dollars to expand electric truck use, including a rebate program for the private sector.

On Feb. 16, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced an expansion of the state’s electric vehicle rebate program called Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles. The expansion now includes light-, medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks.

MOR-EV will have $10 million dedicated to fund electric trucks. Purchases of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks after Feb. 16 are eligible for the rebate. Up to $90,000 in rebates for a tractor-trailer purchase will be available. On the lower end, electric pickup trucks are eligible for a $7,500 rebate. According to a news release, rebate values will decrease over time due to likely cheaper costs of new electric vehicles as the technology advances. Private, commercial and public fleets are eligible for the rebates.

“Including trucks in the MOR-EV program will offer residents additional affordable clean transportation options and help to lower air pollution across the Commonwealth,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in a statement. “Our Administration is committed to ambitious emissions targets and today’s announcement represents another step forward in our efforts as a state towards a clean energy future.”

Recipients of MOR-EV truck rebates must keep the electric truck for a minimum of 36 consecutive months after purchase or lease date. Lease terms of at least 36 months are required for program eligibility. Additionally, selling an electric truck purchased through the program for financial gain within 36 months is prohibited.

Eligible truck purchases include both direct purchases and those through third-party bulk orders. More information is available here.

Last June, Gov. Baker pledged to commit at least $27 million per year in 2020 and 2021 to electric vehicle incentive programs. The state has invested more than $37 million to incentivize purchases of more than 18,000 electric vehicles since June 2014. About 45,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions has been reduced annually.

In December, governors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the mayor of the District of Columbia signed a memorandum of understanding committing to reduce motor vehicle pollution by at least 26% by 2032. They will be the first to launch the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program, which requires large gasoline and diesel suppliers to buy allowances in a cap-and-trade plan. Essentially, there will be a limit on how much carbon dioxide companies can emit. After reaching its cap, a company can pay the government a certain amount of money to go beyond that limit. How many allowances a company can purchase will decline each year.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state will invest more than $100 million in clean, equitable transportation projects, including electric trucks at ports and industrial areas.

A key difference compared to Massachusetts’ recent announcement is that New Jersey’s investment is mostly for electric trucks and vehicles in the public sector. Gov. Murphy wants the state to reach 100% clean energy by 2050.

Using money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds, funding will go toward:

  • $9 million in grants for local government electrification projects that will help to improve air quality in environmental justice communities through the deployment of electric garbage and delivery trucks.
  • $13 million in grants for low- and moderate-income communities to reduce emissions that affect our children’s air quality through the deployment of electric school buses and shuttle buses.
  • $5 million in grants for equitable mobility projects that will bring electric vehicle ride hailing and charging stations to four New Jersey towns and cities.
  • $5 million in grants for deployment of fast charging infrastructure at 27 locations statewide.
  • $36 million to reduce diesel and black carbon emissions in environmental justice communities by electrifying port, cargo handling, and other medium- and heavy-duty equipment in port and industrial areas.

Additionally, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 221, which establishes the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. The new office will focus on climate change priorities, ensure the state’s clean energy future and transitioning to a green economy while prioritizing equity and environmental justice. Jane Cohen, the governor’s senior policy advisor on environment and energy, will be the head of the new office. LL

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Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.