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NEW INFO ADDED: Poll: Support Lacking for EVs

NEW INFO ADDED: Poll: Support Lacking for EVs

By Vince Conti

electric vehicle EV stock
Viktoriia Hnutiak/Shutterstock

A Rutgers Eagleton Center Poll is bad news for those pushing the state’s goals for electric vehicles. More than half of the New Jersey residents polled said they probably will not buy an electric car. Half of those polled also said they opposed the electric vehicle mandate.

The opposition in New Jersey comes as a number of other states have or are about to adopt the same regulations, known as Advanced Clean Car II and first developed in California. The object of the regulations is to ramp up the sale of zero-emissions vehicles with annual targets for EV sales beginning in New Jersey with the 2027 model year. The goal is that 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in the state will be zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

The Rutgers poll shows concern that is more widespread than the partisan divide that has grown up around the state’s climate change agenda. The opposition and skepticism have roots in economic concerns related to personal finances and the state’s economy.

There was also significant concern over how long it will take to charge an EV and what infrastructure exists to support the vehicles. Many who said they would probably not buy an EV were unclear about how an electric vehicle might change their daily lives.

The poll also holds out the probability that the mandate will be an issue in the 2024 elections, with 45% of respondents saying they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who backed the mandate.

Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, urged state officials to slow down their push for EV sales or “risk a consumer backlash that is already being felt.” Appleton added: “Unrealistic mandates are certain to hinder – not help – electric vehicle adoption.”

Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, saw the poll as proof that “we need to do a better job of overcoming the profit driven fossil fuel industry opposition to electric vehicles.” He added that EVs are “cheaper per mile” and “require less maintenance” than gasoline burning vehicles. He also pointed to health benefits deriving from less air pollution.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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