Governor Murphy Files Clean Cars Proposal

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – As a part of Governor Phil Murphy’s goal to have 100 percent zero-emission cars by 2035, he has filed the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) proposal with the Office of Administrative Law to require all vehicle manufacturers to make zero-emission vehicles an increasing percentage of their new light-duty vehicle sales.

“By filing the ACCII proposal, we build upon our nation-leading record of bold climate action while delivering on our promise to utilize every tool at our disposal to combat the intensifying climate crisis,” said Governor Murphy. 

The ACCII rule does not hold any requirements for consumers or car dealers. Furthermore, manufacturers have full compliance flexibilities, including a credit trading mechanism. 

The new proposal comes after Governor Murphy’s 2023 Climate Address in February which addressed the Department of Environmental Protection and its role in beginning stakeholding on ACCII to propose the newly announced rules this month. 

According to EDF Energy, a significant benefit of electric vehicles is their contribution to improving air quality throughout towns and cities since electric vehicles produce no carbon dioxide emissions when driving, reducing a considerable amount of air pollution. 

“Our commitment to bringing the ACCII proposal to fruition is a commitment to every New Jersey family and the air they breathe, air that will be cleaner and healthier tomorrow thanks to the steps we’re taking to reduce emissions today. That commitment is underscored by our signing of the ZEV Declaration, which recognizes that New Jersey is just one crucial piece of our global response to climate change.”

“Reducing emissions from the vehicle sector, which accounts for more than 40% of emissions in New Jersey, will deliver considerable public health and climate benefits for generations to come,” said Catherine Klinger, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. 

In addition to the newly proposed ACCII, Governor Murphy announced the state has signed on to the Accelerating to Zero Coalition’s Zero Emission Vehicle Declaration. The declaration was launched by the United Kingdom at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in 2021. The declaration works towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040. Forty-one national governments and 74 cities, states, and regional governments have signed the declaration. 

New Jersey has signed the landmark global agreement on Section 2C, which commits the state to a zero-emission vehicle future in alignment with the Paris Agreement. 

“It’s exciting to see New Jersey begin the rulemaking process on the Advanced Clean Cars II and sign on to the COP26 zero emission declaration to address the greenhouse gasses and other pollution emitted from transportation. The Advanced Clean Cars II rule will undoubtedly provide many benefits to New Jersey, including improved public health and vehicle owner savings,” said Kathy Harris, Senior Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate, NRDC. 

The Murphy Administration has recently adopted a new budget that includes a $10 million appropriation to support the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road, supporting the ACCII. The Department of Environmental Protection intends to use the funds allocated to meet the demand for the installation of charging ports at various businesses, multi-unit residential buildings, and several public locations. 

The $10 million budget is just a portion of the $75 million invested into electric vehicles and charging stations for the state made just this week by the Murphy Administration.

“Today’s announcement on ACCII is just one necessary tool in reducing climate- and health-harming emissions that come from the cars we drive,” said Pamela Frank, CEO of ChargEVC-NJ. “Timing matters. It is notable today that the Governor follows through in his announcement last February to get these regulations in place.”

There will be a published proposal in the August 21 New Jersey Register posted by the Office of Administrative Law which will start a public comment period that will run through October 20, 2023. 

To read about the first Clean Cars Act proposed by New Jersey in 2006, click here.

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