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PSE&G Gains Approval to Develop EV Charging Infrastructure in New Jersey

Feb. 5, 2021
Utility to invest US$166 million over an expected six years to increase the availability of vehicle charging and ease range anxiety.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently approved a settlement that will enable Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) to develop electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in New Jersey. With this approval, the PSE&G plans to invest US$166 million over an expected six years and create about 270 direct clean energy jobs while helping to build out the state's EV charging infrastructure.

The PSE&G's investments are designed to increase the availability of vehicle charging and ease range anxiety — the fear that an EV will run out of power before reaching a place to plug in. Many drivers cite the lack of convenient charging options as the top reason they are reluctant to switch to EVs. The PSE&G will not own EV chargers but instead will support the infrastructure needed to place chargers throughout its service territory.

Cars, trucks, and buses are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The New Jersey Energy Master Plan prioritizes electrifying the transportation sector as a key strategy to improve the state's air quality and reduce health care costs. The PSE&G's program is expected to avoid 14 million metric tons of carbon emissions through 2035.

"EV adoption is critical to meeting New Jersey's clean energy goals," said Karen Reif, vice president of the PSE&G's Renewables and Energy Solutions group. "The scarcity of public and private charging infrastructure discourages more people from driving EVs. The PSE&G's program will address those concerns. It is designed to encourage people to make the switch to clean-running EVs and help New Jersey enjoy the environmental and health benefits that will result from electrifying the transportation sector.

"Electrifying transportation is an important component of the PSEG's Powering Progress vision for a future in which we help our customers use less energy, ensure that the energy they use is cleaner, and that energy is delivered more reliably than ever."

Making it easier to charge and drive EVs is another step toward achieving Governor Phil Murphy's clean energy vision for New Jersey. The PSE&G's EV investment program includes supporting the infrastructure for residential charging equipment, EV chargers at multifamily buildings, government facilities, and at public parking lots, as well as fast charging infrastructure along high-traffic corridors such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. The program also includes provisions for discounted charging during off-peak hours.

The PSE&G's program recognizes the widespread benefits of EVs, including cleaner air, by displacing internal combustion engines. According to the American Lung Association, the widespread transition to zero-emission transportation technologies, including EVs, could lead to emissions reductions that could help New Jersey avoid premature deaths, prevent asthma attacks and lost workdays, and yield close to US$2 billion in avoided health costs in 2050.

The recent BPU action follows its approval in September of the PSE&G's US$1 billion investment in energy efficiency and its decision earlier this month to allow the PSE&G to invest approximately US$700 million to provide its 2.3 million electric customers with smart meters. Each of these programs will advance the PSE&G's Clean Energy Future proposal, an initiative designed to lower energy costs, reduce air pollution, create jobs, and help make New Jersey a leader in clean energy.

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