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A collection of nearly 100 business, labor and nonprofit groups have sent a letter urging New Jersey legislative leaders to take action to stop Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed ban of the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. 

The New Jersey Business Coalition wrote to Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Leader Craig Coughlin that the proposed ban is both “impractical and misguided,” and will place a great financial burden on every New Jersey family due to the higher costs of purchasing and maintaining an electric vehicle. 

The NJBC also said the rule, proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection last month, will be especially detrimental to low- and middle-income residents well before 2035 because it will raise the prices of both used and new cars. 

Additionally, many of those living in urban areas, condominiums and apartment complexes will have difficulty charging their vehicles. 

“Banning gas-powered engines would inequitably strain the limited resources of families, businesses, governments, and our electrical utilities,” the groups wrote.  “We share the Governor’s desire to reduce carbon emissions, but the significant disadvantages of this proposal greatly outweigh any potential benefits.  

“This EV mandate would result in fewer low and middle-income families, teenagers, and seniors being able to afford a car – greatly impacting their quality of life and ability to get to work, school, and food stores.  

“By denying thousands of New Jerseyans access to an affordable vehicle, this mandate would be crippling to our communities, businesses, economy, and labor workforce, and would exacerbate income inequality in our state.” 

The DEP’s proposed standards of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule in the New Jersey Register on Aug. 24 kicked off a 60-day public comment period and a race to adopt the rule by the end of 2023, which would trigger EV sales requirements to start with the 2027 new car model year.  

For example, one mandated target would be to have EVs and a small percentage of hybrid vehicles comprise 43% of new car sales in New Jersey for that year. 

Currently, only 8% of new cars sold in New Jersey are EVs. 

The groups wrote that the rule does not consider the feasibility of such a ramp up in new EV vehicles in an expedited time frame. 

“The plan imposes a substantial expense on property taxpayers, without a necessary funding mechanism, for building and maintaining robust charging infrastructure,” the coalition wrote. “Even with historic investments over the next decade, there is no guarantee that the infrastructure to support such a massive network of charging stations can be built in just 12 years in a reliable manner and maintained to support our large population.  

“Our state will also have to make major investments in modernizing New Jersey’s aging power grid to handle the significant increase in demand from new cars and home appliances. Ultimately, these upgrades are another expense that would be passed onto New Jersey’s families and businesses for years to come.  

“The Energy Master Plan estimates that an electrification policy will result in a doubling or tripling of electricity demand. This is on top of an already growing demand for more power. The result will be blackouts and brownouts and economic and social harm.” 

A campaign recently launched by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association has already resulted in more than 1,000 letters urging legislative representatives to put the brakes on the gas car ban. Hundreds of comments on NJBIA Facebook posts have also overwhelmingly stated they will not be able to afford electric vehicles, or they prefer the freedom to choose their own type of automobile. 

“Our state Legislature deserves an opportunity to hear from constituents, take up the issue in regular session and thoroughly debate the merits of the governor’s proposal,” the groups said. “It violates the spirit of our democratic system for an issue of such importance to be solely determined by the governor. 

“We encourage you to delay this action until a time when it can earn a vote by the full Legislature in Trenton.” 

To read the complete letter, click here.

The signatories to the letter include the following: 

  • Affordable Energy for New Jersey 
  • African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Inc.     
  • American Camp Association NY/NJ    
  • American Institute of Architects    
  • New Jersey Camps Government Affairs Project    
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey    
  • American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey    
  • Associated Builders and Contractors – NJ  
  • Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce    
  • Big I New Jersey     
  • Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Bus Association of New Jersey    
  • Cape May County Chamber of Commerce    
  • Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce    
  • Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia      
  • Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey    
  • Chemistry Council of New Jersey     
  • Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey    
  • Downtown New Jersey    
  • Early Childhood Education Advocates    
  • Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce    
  • Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative (ELEC 825)  
  • Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey 
  • Garden State Pharmacy Owners, Inc    
  • Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce    
  • Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce    
  • Greater NJ Motorcoach Association     
  • Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce     
  • Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce    
  • Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce    
  • Hoboken Chamber of Commerce    
  • Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey    
  • Home Health Services Association of New Jersey    
  • Hudson County Chamber of Commerce    
  • Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce    
  • Jersey Shore Partnership    
  • Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce    
  • Marine Trades Association of New Jersey     
  • Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce    
  • Meadowlands Chamber    
  • Monmouth Ocean Development Council    
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce    
  • NAIOP-NJ    
  • National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)    
  • Newark Regional Business Partnership    
  • New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association    
  • New Jersey Association of Mental Health & Addiction Agencies    
  • New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons    
  • New Jersey Bankers Association    
  • New Jersey Builders Association     
  • New Jersey Business & Industry Association    
  • New Jersey Campground Owners and Outdoor Lodging Association    
  • New Jersey Civil Justice Institute    
  • New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers     
  • New Jersey Concrete and Aggregate Association    
  • New Jersey Gasoline and C-Store Association 
  • New Jersey Dental Association    
  • New Jersey Fitness Alliance     
  • New Jersey Food Council     
  • New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association    
  • New Jersey Hotel and Lodging Industry Association    
  • New Jersey Independent Electrical Contractors Association    
  • New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance  
  • New Jersey Liquor Store Alliance     
  • New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.    
  • New Jersey Motor Truck Association    
  • New Jersey Pharmacists Association    
  • New Jersey Pipe Trades 
  • New Jersey Propane Gas Association 
  • New Jersey Podiatric Medical Society    
  • New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association    
  • New Jersey Retail Merchants Association     
  • New Jersey Salon and Spa Coalition     
  • New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants    
  • NJ Small Business Coalition    
  • New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association    
  • New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce    
  • New Jersey Tourism Industry Association     
  • New Jersey Utilities Association    
  • New Jersey YMCA State Alliance     
  • New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association     
  • Newark Regional Business Partnership   
  • North Jersey Jewish Business Alliance    
  • New York Shipping Association, Inc.     
  • Ocean City Chamber of Commerce    
  • Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce    
  • Recreational Fishing Alliance     
  • Salem County Chamber of Commerce    
  • Somerset County Business Partnership    
  • Southern NJ Development Council    
  • Sussex County Chamber of Commerce    
  • The American Planning Association – NJ Chapter     
  • Union Township Chamber of Commerce    
  • Washington Borough BID