TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jerseyans who buy electric vehicles could qualify for tax incentives under legislation that's making its way through the state Assembly.
The six-bill package also would provide benefits for businesses that buy such vehicles or install charging stations. And it calls for putting charging stations at shopping centers and at service areas on some of the state's major highways.
Proponents say the measures would help the environment and create good-paying jobs while making the state more enticing to the electric car industry. The proposals come in the wake of President Barack Obama's call for having 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015.
The Appropriations Committee approved the measures Thursday. They now head to the full Assembly for its consideration. But those votes have not yet been scheduled.
Similar legislation also has been introduced in the state Senate.
"These bills are job creation and economic development measures, plain and simple," said Wayne DeAngelo, D-Hamilton (Mercer County). "If we send the message that New Jersey is welcoming toward electric vehicles, then we'll see more sales and attract an entirely new industry that can bring new high-paying jobs for working class residents."
The measures in the package would:
— Provide companies and residents with tax deductions for buying electric cars or installing charging stations. Deductions also could be given to those who buy electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles and businesses that buy electric trucks or buses.
— Require new shopping centers to provide charging stations when stores are open.
— Require the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Turnpike Authority to equip service areas with electric vehicle charging stations that would charge plug-in electric vehicles.
— Bar state environmental officials from issuing permits for proposed shopping centers unless at least five percent of their parking spaces will be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations.
— Urge Congress and the Obama administration to provide states with financial support and other incentives to promote the purchase of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Besides DeAngelo, several other Democratic Assembly members are sponsoring one or more of the measures in the package. They include Majority Leader Joseph Cryan of Union, Linda Stender of Scotch Plains, Connie Wagner of Paramus, Craig J. Coughlin of Woodbridge, Angel Fuentes of Camden, Daniel Benson of Hamilton (Mercer County), Kevin J. Ryan of Nutley and Gilbert "Whip" Wilson of Camden.