The Garden State is expanding its New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program (NJ ZIP) to support businesses and institutions that are purchasing zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) recently decided to double the amount of funding dedicated to the program, to $45 million; to expand the program statewide, beyond the four pilot communities; and to expand eligibility to include heavy-duty vehicle classes.
As of last month, the NJEDA had approved 144 NJ ZIP applications totaling $32.2 million in vouchers for zero-emission medium-duty vehicles. The NJEDA anticipates that the expansion of the program will allow 200-400 additional vouchers to be awarded. Over 90 percent of the entities approved to date are small businesses, and approximately 57 percent are minority- and/or woman-owned.
“Over 40 percent of New Jersey’s carbon emissions are produced by vehicles, so helping small businesses make the transition to zero-emission technology is a key step toward accelerating Governor Phil Murphy’s efforts to improve air quality and create economic opportunity within the state,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “Small businesses participating in the program are poised to reap the benefits of electric vehicle ownership by modernizing their fleets with environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art vehicles that not only reduce fuel costs and require less maintenance but mitigate the harmful environmental impacts of transportation emissions.”
ENAT Transportation & Logistics, one of the first NJ ZIP awardees to receive its vehicles, is on its way to transitioning its entire commercial fleet to electric vehicles within the next five years. “NJ ZIP is a fantastic resource for small businesses like mine to afford transitioning to an electric fleet as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint,” said ENAT co-owner Vanessa Abad. “The additional $40,000 in bonuses we received for being a minority and women-owned small business has allowed us to compete with other transportation companies in an industry that has traditionally been operated by men.”
The NJEDA anticipates opening applications for NJ ZIP awards, including those for businesses in newly eligible parts of the state, in the coming months. Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.