Health and economic benefits of electric vehicles

Dear Editor:

The fires in the West continue to burn, and smoke is still reaching us in New Jersey. We cannot directly prevent these fires, but we can reduce our air and climate pollutants. The American Lung Association (ALA) recently released a report, “Road To Clean Air,” documenting the public health impact of electrifying our transportation sector.

The report highlights the importance of reaching the Clean Cars mandate of 330,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on New Jersey roads by 2025, which became law in January. The ALA estimates that New Jersey could save nearly $2 billion in health costs in 2050 by electrifying our transportation sector.

We still have work to do to meet the EV bill mandate by 2025. To ramp up the adoption of EVs, getting more drivers behind the wheel is imperative. Consumer Reports wrote that EV drivers spend 50% less than gas car owners on maintenance and repair. But the rebate of up to $5,000 is still necessary to spark new purchases of EVs. Thankfully, Governor Murphy ensured the full EV rebate funding was protected in the FY21 budget. Electrification is one of the best things we can do to clean our air and reduce climate pollutants.

Hayley Berliner
Clean Energy Associate, Environment New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ