New Jersey has one of the most ambitious clean energy programs in the nation, but some have criticized the state for not doing enough to promote the development of electric vehicles and other alternative-fueled cars.
That may begin to change this week, when the Senate Environment and Energy Committee takes up a wide-ranging package of bills to help spur consumers and businesses to buy and develop the infrastructure for alternative-fueled vehicles.
With 15 different bills on its agenda, lawmakers will consider measures to give tax credits to motorists and corporations that purchase vehicles not fueled by petroleum. Also on the docket: proposals aimed at promoting the development of the infrastructure to make consumers more likely to buy the cars.
The proposals cover plug-in electric vehicles, compressed natural-gas vehicles, and vehicles powered by fuel cells, which typically convert hydrogen into energy through a process that creates no pollution.
Some of the bills have languished in the Legislature for a few years; others are relatively recent. Clean energy advocates say the state needs to aggressively promote cleaner-running cars, given that motor vehicles are one of the biggest sources of pollution in New Jersey.
“If we don’t get the infrastructure in place, we lose not only environmentally but also economically,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. He noted that Princeton-based NRG Energy is building the infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles in Houston, but not in New Jersey.
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