Complete guide to New Jersey’s electric vehicle incentive: Charge Up NJ

New Jersey is one of the best places to buy an electric vehicle (EV). State rebates and incentives are available for any New Jersey resident who wants to switch to an EV. With the goal of having 330,000 registered EVs in the state by 2025, Governor Murphy announced the expansion of the Charge Up New Jersey Incentive program.

There are fewer EVs to choose from than gas-powered cars, which makes electric vehicles generally more expensive than combustion engine alternatives. The incentives offered in New Jersey, coupled with the federal electric vehicle incentive program, are meant to help ease the high cost of EVs.

Are electric vehicle incentives available in New Jersey?
The Garden State has one major incentive program that only state residents can benefit from known as the Charge Up New Jersey electric vehicle incentive, worth up to $4,000. The rebate directly reduces the upfront cost of an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) runs the program.

The Charge Up New Jersey program is in its third year, and to celebrate, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a newly added rebate at a press conference in Asbury Park. The new rebate offers up to $250 for homeowners to install a home EV charger.

The funding for this incentive is expected to last for 10 years. The program also covers a few other eligible entities like commercial EV charging stations and commercial clean fleets. Another perk of going electric is that zero-emissions vehicles in New Jersey are exempt from state sales tax, which can significantly reduce costs.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Charge Up New Jersey EV rebate?
The Charge Up NJ incentive is only available for residents of the state of New Jersey. To qualify as a resident, you need to have a valid New Jersey license, live in the state, and remain there for two years after the transaction date of vehicle purchase.

Aside from being a New Jersey state resident, the car must be purchased or leased from a participating New Jersey dealership showroom. The vehicle must also be brand new, battery-operated, or a plug-in hybrid with an MSRP under $55,000.

EVs are notoriously more expensive than gas-powered vehicles, so it might be a challenge to find a car under $55,000. But, the NJ website does list all eligible vehicles, like the Audi Q4, Kia EV-6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Chevrolet Volt.

There are some other obscure rules, like not changing the car’s internal workings, so make sure you check out the fine print before purchasing a vehicle. Also, remember that you need to apply at an eligible dealership at the point of sale to get the incentive.

The rebate is based on the vehicle’s cost and the car’s mileage range, with higher incentives available for EVs with a lower MSRP. So essentially, the cheapest car with the highest mileage range will get you the most money.

Keep in mind you need to apply at an eligible dealership at the point of sale to take advantage of this incentive.

To get the $250 home charger rebate, you need to purchase an eligible Level 2 charger. Make sure you buy from the list of eligible home chargers to take advantage of the residential charger program. It is important to note that you must include the purchase receipt and proof of NJ residence when filing a claim for the incentive.

Are there other EV incentives available in New Jersey?
Yes, there are local incentives that homeowners can take advantage of, usually from their electric utility provider.

For example, if their account is in good financial standing, PSE&G customers have access to an on-bill credit of $1,500 for installing a Level 2 smart charger. Meanwhile, Atlantic City Electric customers can get a rebate of up to $1,000 for chargers.

When you decide to purchase an electric vehicle, work with your utility provider to ensure you get all of the incentives available to you.

Do NJ drivers qualify for the federal EV incentive?
Yes, anyone in the United States can claim the federal EV tax credit, regardless of which state they live in. In late summer 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed, revamping the available EV incentives.

The federal EV incentive is worth up to $7,500, the total amount of which is based on the size of the car’s battery. The credit is applied to your federal income taxes, reducing how much you owe to the government.

Not all vehicles qualify for the federal incentive. For example, there is a 200,000 vehicle limit on manufacturers, so Tesla, GM, and Toyota EV models cannot take advantage of the federal incentive. Also, the final assembly of EVs purchased after August 16, 2022 must have occurred in North America.

These requirements make it so that very few EVs and plug-in hybrids qualify for the federal tax credit and the Charge Up rebate. For example, the 2022 Tesla Model 3 can take advantage of the New Jersey EV incentive but isn’t eligible for the federal tax credit. Here’s a list of a few EVs that can take advantage of both incentives:

Table 2: EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles that qualify for both the federal EV incentive and Charge Up New Jersey rebate

Is now the best time for a NJ resident to purchase an EV?
The end of 2022 is one of the best times for a New Jersey resident to get an EV. Come 2023, it’ll be harder for vehicles to meet the requirements to get the full $7,500 federal incentive. Not to mention, the income limits that the IRA sets in place next year could mean you won’t qualify for the incentive.

Look for cars manufactured in the United States with an MSRP of under $45,000 to get the best rate for the federal and New Jersey state incentives. For example, the Ford Mach-E is a practical choice, and the two incentives combined could save you up to $11,500 on the purchase price.

Additionally, the IRA offers solar incentives to help reduce the cost of installing residential solar panels. If you want an emissions-free life, installing solar to charge your electric car is a great option. Charging your EV with solar panels is the cheapest way to keep your car charged up and ready to drive.

New Jersey is eager to switch to electric vehicles because they are a key part of addressing climate change and can improve air quality while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The future is electrification – and EVs and solar play a major part in this clean energy upgrade.