FEDERAL GRANT AWARDED FOR REGIONAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE NETWORK
(11/P119) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today announced that a coalition of Northeastern states, including New Jersey, has received a nearly $1 million federal grant to jump start planning for a network of electrical vehicle charging stations, an initiative that will spur job creation and use of electric vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Energy grant to the Transportation and Climate Initiative, comprised of 11 states plus the District of Columbia, will accelerate the development of charging stations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, benefiting the region environmentally by reducing pollution from vehicles.
"Improving air quality in New Jersey is a top priority of the Christie Administration," said Commissioner Martin. "But in addition to helping us reduce auto emissions and improving the health of our residents, this new network will provide an economic boost to the State through the creation of new green jobs in research and production of electric cars and electric vehicle infrastructure."
The ultimate goal of the Initiative's Northeast Electric Vehicle Network is two-fold. First, to ensure that motorists can drive electric vehicles with ease locally and region-wide, from northern New England to the District of Columbia.
Second, by creating consistent rules and standards across the entire region. The Initiative seeks to attract private sector investment and encourage development of an electric vehicle market both for consumers -- by making the electric vehicle experience common, standardized, and easy to use -- and for the electric vehicle industry, by simplifying regulations, building codes and permitting processes.
The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network project will develop a plan and accompanying guidance documents for the introduction of the network of charging stations. The parent Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), meanwhile, will work with the region's Clean Cities Coalitions to bring together stakeholders to discuss the concept, adapt documents to local audiences, and convey the benefits of a regional approach to local policymakers.
The TCI is a regional cooperative of states that work together to reduce greenhouse emissions, minimize reliance of transportation systems on high-carbon fuels, improve efficiency of freight movement, expand the use of innovative information technology, promote sustainable growth and seek to reduce vehicle-miles traveled. That is an important effort for New Jersey since nearly 40 percent of the State's greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the transportation sector.
New Jersey signed a declaration of intent in June 2010 to participate in the TCI. Other members are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. It was the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority that submitted that grant application for the Electric Vehicle Network project.
The Georgetown Climate Center serves as the facilitator for TCI, supporting the group's work by coordinating region-wide stakeholder outreach, conducting necessary research, and recommending model policy and planning approaches.
For more information on the Transportation and Climate Initiative, visit: http://www.georgetownclimate.org/state-action/transportation-and-climate-initiative