For Immediate Release:  July 14th, 2020

Contact: Berenice Tompkins, Cell: 914-564-3094

New Jersey Joins 15-State Truck Electrification Pact, Committing to Lead On Air Pollution and Climate Change 

Truck Electrification Will Be Focus For RGGI Funds, Pact Follows CA’s Lead on Electric Trucks

Trenton — Today New Jersey was one of fifteen states to release an MOU laying out a collaborative framework to expand use of electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), with a target of 30% electric MDHVs by 2030 and 100% electric MHDVs by 2050. The motion puts participating states on track to achieve similarly ambitious electric truck mandates to that recently released by the California Air Resources Board and positions the Northeast to develop a regional, self-sustaining market for MHDVs. The focus for vehicle electrification includes diesel big rig trucks, drayage trucks, delivery vehicles, school and transit buses, to name a few.

Within six months, the ZEV Task Force is to release a coordinated Action Plan proposing concrete measures to allow participating states to meet these goals, including options for funding. Priorities laid out in the MOU include acceleration of projects in areas burdened by high pollution levels – such as those adjacent to ports, highways and trucking corridors — as well as “leading by example” through electrification of public fleets in participating states and maximizing use of renewable energy in charging.

The MOU follows a Request For Information (RFI) put out last week by NJEDA on investment in electrification projects of funds raised through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-investment program to reduce carbon pollution from regional power plants with the goal of reducing emissions and creating clean energy jobs regionally.

The statewide ElectrifyNJ coalition — formed under the umbrella of Jersey Renews to advocate for transportation electrification, with a focus on pollution reduction, transit justice and clean energy jobs — strongly supports both the regional MOU and use of RGGI funds for MHDV electrification. The coalition specifically applauds the Task Force’s intention to accelerate development in most-impacted communities and emphasizes that public-sector projects that will yield the greatest benefit should also be prioritized.

“These commitments will help actualize the kind of just and green economic recovery New Jersey should be working for,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council. “With the right policies in place, electrification is an opportunity to create good, union jobs concentrated in communities that generally receive the greatest burdens and least benefit from our transportation sector, in addition to protecting the health of workers who already breathe the air of highways and ports day in and day out.”

“No package delivered by a diesel truck is worth dirty air, asthma and climate change. It’s time to shift past the old ways of thinking and move toward a clean environment with trucks that don’t pollute. Clean electric trucks can clear the air and help stave off the worst impacts of climate change. That’s the delivery we are all waiting for. This plan will play a major role in realizing that goal. We applaud the states involved, including the Murphy Administration, for charting a path for zero-emission electric trucks to clean up our roads,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

“Breath is life.  Yet in our urban communities, thousands of polluting trucks pass schools, homes, healthcare facilities and places of prayer every single day.  Faith communities know that it is right and just that these trucks get electrified as soon as possible, to protect the lungs and lives of every precious child, adult and elder.  All people deserve clean air,” said Rev. Ronald Tuff, NJ Organizer with GreenFaith.

“In the wake of a virus where risk is undeniably linked to air pollution exposure, New Jersey cannot say we are putting health first without making serious commitments to reducing air pollution,” said Berenice Tompkins, Jersey Renews Coalition Organizer. “We are thrilled to see the state put its money where its mouth is by joining in a regional electrification framework that will protect the health of front-line communities and workers, while mitigating climate threats that disproportionately threaten many of the same waterfront and port communities.”