Technology to retire internal combustion engines and replace them with electric vehicles is not new but the infrastructure that supports them — charging stations — are not ubiquitously available. Environment New Jersey Director Doug O’Malley told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that by driving electric vehicles, the equivalent of 55 million gallons of gas would be cut down by 2025.
O’Malley said there are several reasons why electric cars haven’t grown more. He said that it is going to take a while for consumers to get used to the fact that electric cars are not the cars of tomorrow but they are the cars of today. He said that if one wanted to walk into a local dealership and find an electric vehicle, it is going to be there but one of the big concerns that average people have is how long they can drive in an electric car until it needs to be charged.
He said that the distance an electric car can go before needing to be charged depends on the car but it can be anywhere between 60 and 100 miles. He said that works for a lot of people but in New Jersey many people have commutes that are longer than that. He said that New Jersey needs to have a robust infrastructure for charging stations and right now the state does not have that; it only has a little over 100 stations.
Tesla has been investing in charging infrastructure in New Jersey, said O’Malley. He said that one of the other problems in New Jersey, as a state, is that Gov. Chris Christie is not doing enough to promote those policies. He said that Christie banned the direct sale of Teslas in the state.
He said that ban was related to dealerships and Motor Vehicle Commission regulations. He said that there was a unanimous vote in the Assembly, less than two weeks ago, urging legislation to allow direct sales of Teslas in New Jersey.
When asked if he thinks there will be a time when the price of electric cars will come down, O’Malley said the prices already have dropped. He said that for most people, price is going to be paramount. He said he is starting to see prices drop and he expects to see prices to continue to drop in the future.
O’Malley said that the benefits to the environment of driving an electric car are huge because in New Jersey, nearly every county is out of compliance with ozone pollution and by adopting electric vehicles, the equivalent to 55 million gallons of gas would be cut down by 2025. He said that more importantly, in the future, the state can really tackle the air pollution and global warming problems.