NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today approved a settlement that will enable PSE&G to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure in New Jersey. With this approval, the state's largest utility is expected to invest $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.
PSE&G's investments are designed to increase the availability of vehicle charging and ease "range anxiety," the fear that an electric vehicle 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 electric vehicles. Cars, trucks and buses are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and 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. 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 PSE&G's Renewables and Energy Solutions group. "The scarcity of public and private charging infrastructure discourages more people from driving electric vehicles. PSE&G's program will address those concerns and is designed to encourage people to make the switch to clean-running EVs and to help New Jersey enjoy the environmental and health benefits that will result from electrifying the transportation sector."
"Electrifying transportation is an important component of 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," Reif said.
Making it easier to charge and drive electric vehicles is another step toward achieving Gov. Phil Murphy's clean energy vision for New Jersey. 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.
PSE&G is committed to universal access to EV charging and to serving all markets. The utility will not own EV chargers, but instead will support the infrastructure needed to place chargers throughout its service territory.
PSE&G's program recognizes the widespread benefits of electric vehicles, 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 work days, and yield close to $2 billion in avoided health costs in 2050.
Today's BPU action follows its approval in September of PSE&G's $1 billion investment in energy efficiency, and its decision earlier this month to allow PSE&G to invest approximately $700 million to provide its 2.3 million electric customers with smart meters. Each of these programs will advance PSE&G's landmark 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.
PSE&G Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2020, PSE&G was named the most trusted combined gas & electric utility in the East Region, by the Cogent Syndicated Brand Trust Index. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 13 consecutive years (www.pseg.com).