SENATE, No. 2382

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 5, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes electric vehicle rebate program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing a rebate program for purchasers and lessees of new plug-in electric vehicles, supplementing Title 48 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.2003, c.266.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  (New section)  The Legislature finds and declares that plug-in electric vehicle technology has improved significantly, and plug-in electric vehicles with longer range and lower costs are now available as a viable alternative to fossil-fueled vehicles for many mainstream customers, with more makes and models to be introduced over the next several years; that vehicle price is a dominant factor for consumers considering the purchase or lease of plug-in electric vehicles, and incentives that make them affordable to more consumers have been proven to significantly increase sales and leases of these vehicles; that incentives which increase consumer purchases and leases of these vehicles deliver benefits directly related to the increased use of electric vehicles such as improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and savings through reduced energy costs for ratepayers; that such incentives also increase the scale of the electric vehicle industry and accelerate attainment of cost parity with existing vehicles, while also expanding widespread consumer awareness, which in turn increases sales and leases of these vehicles; that vehicle electrification represents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver advanced mobility solutions for low income, urban, and environmental justice communities, improve air quality in those communities, and expand the transportation options available to those citizens, and that those electrified advanced mobility solutions may require incentives and other public support to be realized equitably; that there are opportunities for vehicle electrification beyond light duty vehicles, including buses, municipal and other vehicles that serve the public, and other heavy duty and medium duty vehicles that are predominantly powered by diesel fuel today; and that electrification in these diverse transportation segments may require incentives and other public support to be realized quickly and efficiently.

     The Legislature therefore determines that the Board of Public Utilities should establish and implement a plug-in vehicle rebate program for the purpose of encouraging ownership and leasing of light duty plug-in electric vehicles.

 

     2.  (New section) As used in this act:

     “Advanced mobility solution” means a transportation alternative to provide transportation to an entire community, often through novel business models that change vehicle ownership and use in the community, including, but not limited to, ride hailing services, car sharing services, fractional ownership and vehicle subscription services, autonomous vehicles, and transportation network companies.

     “Board” means the Board of Public Utilities.

     “Dealership incentive” means the incentive disbursed pursuant to subsection f. of section 3 of this act to the owner or operator of an automobile dealership in the State that sells or leases a light duty plug-in electric vehicle.

     “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.”

     “Eligible consumer” means any purchaser or lessee of an eligible vehicle.

     “Eligible recipient” means an eligible consumer entitled to receive a basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, or supplemental scrappage rebate pursuant to this act, but who did not receive the applicable rebate at the time of purchase or lease as part of a reduction of the purchase or leasing price or otherwise; the seller or lessor of an eligible vehicle who has disbursed the applicable rebate authorized pursuant to this act to an eligible consumer at the time of sale or lease; or the owner or operator of a automobile dealership entitled to a dealership incentive pursuant to this act.

     “Eligible vehicle” means a new light-duty plug-in electric vehicle purchased, or leased for at least 30 months, with an MSRP of $55,000 or less.

     “Fund” means the "Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate and Incentive Fund" established pursuant to section 4 of this act.

     “Incentive disbursement” means payment of a dealership incentive to an eligible recipient.

     “LDPEV rebate program” means the “Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate Program” established pursuant to section 3 of this act.

     “Light duty plug-in electric vehicle” or “LDPEV” means any two-axle, four wheel plug-in electric vehicle that is designed primarily for passenger travel or light duty commercial use and is approved for travel on public roads.  “LDPEV” includes, but is not necessarily limited to, any plug-in electric vehicle commonly referred to as a car, minivan, sport utility vehicle, cross-over, or pick-up truck.

     “MSRP” means the published Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, as set by a vehicle’s manufacturer, at the time of sale or lease.

     “Plug-in electric vehicle” or “PEV” means any vehicle that is powered by a battery or equivalent energy storage device that can be charged from an electricity supply external to the vehicle through an electric plug, and includes any plug-in electric vehicle that is powered solely by electricity, and any plug-in hybrid vehicle that can be both charged from a source of electricity external to the vehicle and powered by fuel other than electricity.  “PEV” shall not include any hybrid vehicle that does not include a plug for charging from an external source.  PEVs may be light duty, medium duty, or heavy duty vehicles.

     “Rebate disbursement” means the payment of a basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, or supplemental scrappage rebate, established by the Board of Public Utilities pursuant to section 3 of this act, to an eligible recipient.

     “Seller or lessor of an eligible vehicle” means any person who sells or leases an eligible vehicle to a consumer in the State, and may include an automobile dealership, third party financing entity, manufacturer selling or leasing directly to the public, and any other entity selling or leasing motor vehicles to consumers in the State.

 

     3.  (New section) a.  Within 90 days after the effective date of this act, the Board of Public Utilities, in cooperation with the State Treasurer and the Department of Environmental Protection, shall establish and implement a “Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate Program” for the purpose of encouraging ownership of light duty plug-in electric vehicles through rebate disbursement pursuant to this act.

     b.  The board shall allocate and transfer to the “Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate and Incentive Fund," established pursuant to section 4 of this act, the sum of $100,000,000 annually for three years for rebate disbursements during the first three years of the program.  The board shall continue the program until $300,000,000 in rebate disbursements has been paid from the fund.  At that time, the board shall review the program’s progress in achieving any electric vehicle goals established by the State.  The board:

     (1) may extend the program if the board determines (a) it is necessary to attain the State’s electric vehicle goals, and (b) there is sufficient funding available in the fund or the board determines it can identify and secure sources of funding to continue to provide rebate disbursements; but

     (2) shall not extend the program beyond the State fiscal year ending on June 30th of the 10th year after the program’s implementation.

     c.  The department, in consultation with the board, shall establish a schedule of basic rebates for each make and model of eligible vehicle, based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s certification of the electric-only range of the make and model of the eligible vehicle, and application of the criteria set forth in subsection d. of this section.  The schedule of basic rebates established pursuant to this subsection shall be provided to each seller or lessor of eligible vehicles in the State and shall be reviewed and updated on a calendar quarterly basis by the department.

     d.  (1) The amount of a basic rebate shall not exceed $5,000 per eligible vehicle.

     (2) The amount of the basic rebate shall be based on a one-time payment equal to at least $25 per mile of the eligible vehicle’s electric-only range, as certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and determined by the department, up to a maximum of $5,000 per eligible vehicle.

     (3) Each time a total of $100,000,000 is disbursed from the fund, the board may adjust the basic rebate amount or the basic rebate maximum as needed to achieve or sustain any electric vehicle goals established by the State, but the board shall not:

     (a) reduce any basic rebate amount or the basic rebate maximum until the first $100,000,000 has been paid in rebate disbursements from the fund;

     (b) reduce a basic rebate amount by more than $500 per rebate; and

     (c) reduce a basic rebate amount by more than $2.50 per mile of the eligible vehicle’s electric-only range, as certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and determined by the department.

     (4) The board, in its discretion, shall establish limits on the number of rebates issued to an eligible consumer as the board determines to be necessary.

     e.  In addition to the basic rebate, the board, in consultation with the department, shall establish:

     (1) a supplemental low income rebate, unrestricted by the basic rebate maximum of not less than $2,500 to low income consumers who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle, subject to eligibility requirements established by the board; and

     (2) a supplemental scrappage rebate, unrestricted by the basic rebate maximum of at least $1,000 for consumers who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle and simultaneously trade in an older vehicle that is not an electric vehicle and is scrapped, subject to eligibility requirements established by the board in consultation with the department.

     The supplemental low income rebate amounts and supplemental scrappage rebate amounts established pursuant to this subsection, and any pertinent eligibility criteria, shall be provided to each seller or lessor of eligible vehicles in the State and shall be reviewed and updated annually by the board.

     f. The board shall establish a “Plug-in Electric Vehicle Dealership Incentive Program” specifically for automobile dealerships in the State.  The incentive program shall provide to any automobile dealership a dealership incentive of $300 per eligible vehicle sold or leased in the State.

     g. The board shall monitor rebate disbursements and the incentive disbursements from the fund.  Whenever $100,000,000 of rebate disbursements has been paid if that amount is disbursed prior to one year after the effective date of this act and every $100,000,000 disbursed thereafter, the board shall reassess the appropriateness of the amount of the basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, and supplemental scrappage rebate in light of the amount of funding available and the effectiveness of the incentive to purchase or lease a PEV provided by the amount of each type of rebate, and may revise the amount accordingly, provided that the revision complies with the provisions of subsection d. of this section.

     h. The board, in cooperation and consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the electric public utilities, and other stakeholder groups in the State affected by the promotion of plug-in electric vehicles, shall develop and implement a Statewide marketing and consumer awareness program to promote the availability of the LDPEV rebate program, and shall coordinate with all automobile dealerships, vehicle retailers, and PEV manufacturers doing business in the State to ensure public awareness of the LDPEV rebate program and the convenience of using the program for consumers.

     i.     The board, in cooperation and consultation with the department and the State Treasurer, shall establish a Statewide light duty plug-in electric vehicle database to track, on a daily basis, the implementation of the LDPEV rebate program, its impact on the furtherance of any electric vehicle goals established by the State, rebate disbursements, incentive disbursements, and the amount of moneys remaining in the fund.  The database shall be updated:

     (1) by each seller or lessor at the time of sale or lease of an eligible vehicle with the date of purchase or lease of the eligible vehicle, the make and model of the eligible vehicle purchased or leased, any type of rebate and the amount of rebate to which the eligible recipient is entitled, and the owner’s or lessor’s residential address;

     (2) by the State Treasurer whenever a rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement is paid from the fund; and

     (3) on a calendar quarterly basis as necessary pursuant to subsection c. of this section.

     j.  The board shall make available to the public through its website aggregate information from the database concerning the numbers of LDPEVs sold or leased in the State, the makes and models of LDPEVs sold or leased in the State, the amount of funding remaining in the fund, and any other aggregate information concerning LDPEVs in the State that promotes the effective implementation of the LDPEV rebate program without compromising in any way the privacy of any individual vehicle owner or lessor.

 

     4.  (New section)  a.  There is established in the Department of the Treasury a special, nonlapsing fund to be known as the "Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate and Incentive Fund." The fund shall be administered by the State Treasurer and shall be credited with:

     (1)   moneys transferred by the board for the purposes of the fund; and

     (2)   any return on investment of moneys deposited in the fund.

     The board may allocate and transfer to the fund moneys received from the societal benefits charge established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60), moneys made available to the board pursuant to the implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et seq.), moneys collected from public utilities recovered through utility rates, and other funding sources determined by the board to be appropriate for the purposes of the fund.  The Legislature shall not appropriate any moneys to the fund from the General Fund.

     b.    Moneys in the fund may be used by the Department of the Treasury solely for authorized rebate disbursements and incentive disbursements to eligible recipients.  The moneys in the fund shall not be used for any administrative costs incurred by the Board of Public Utilities, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the State Treasurer in compliance with this act.

     c.     Any eligible recipient shall be eligible for a rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, as applicable.    Notwithstanding the provisions of the "Local Budget Law," N.J.S.40A:4-1 et seq., to the contrary, a county, municipality, or an authority as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-3) required to comply with the provisions of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.) may anticipate in its annual budget, or any amendments or supplements thereto, those sums to be reimbursed from the fund for the purchase or lease of new LDPEVs by the county, municipality, or authority.  For the purposes of subsection 1. of section 3 of P.L.1976, c.68 (C.40A:4-45.3) and subsection g. of section 4 of P.L.1976, c.68 (C.40A:4-45.4), any rebate provided pursuant to this act shall be considered an amount to be received from State funds in disbursement for local expenditures and therefore exempt from the limitation on local budgets imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1976, c.68 (C.40A:4-45.2).

 

     5.  (New section)  a.  Moneys in the fund shall be allocated and used to provide rebate disbursements and incentive disbursements in the manner provided in this section.  The State Treasurer, in consultation with the board and the department, shall determine the applicability and the calculation of a basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, and supplemental scrappage rebate in accordance with section 3 of this act, or the applicability of the dealership incentive established pursuant to subsection f. of section 3 of this act.  The State Treasurer shall require any documentation the State Treasurer determines to be necessary including, but not necessarily limited to, an invoice of sale indicating the applicable purchase price or leasing price, the amount of rebate provided to the eligible consumer, and the final cost of the vehicle to the eligible consumer after the rebate was deducted.

     b.  An eligible recipient shall file an application with the Department of the Treasury on a form to be developed by the State Treasurer and the board, for a basic rebate,  supplemental low income rebate, or supplemental scrappage rebate, or a dealership incentive, as applicable, and with any documentation required by the State Treasurer such as that required pursuant to section 30 of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.55).  Neither the State Treasurer nor the board may charge an application fee.

     c.     Upon a determination that an application meets all established criteria for a rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, as applicable, from the fund, the State Treasurer shall approve the application and award the appropriate disbursement to the applicant.

     d.  The State Treasurer shall certify to the board every 30 days the amount available in the fund for the next 30 days.

 

     6. (New section) a. The State Treasurer shall adopt, in consultation with the board and the department, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations:

     (1)   establishing the filing requirements for a complete application for a rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement from the fund; and

     (2)   prescribing the necessary documentation of the purchase or leasing of an eligible vehicle, pass through to the consumer of the applicable rebate, or any other documentation required by the State Treasurer, board, or department for rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, as applicable.

     b.    When establishing requirements for an application for rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, the State Treasurer shall:

     (1)   strive to minimize the complexity of the application process and any costs to an applicant for complying with application requirements; and

     (2)   establish an expeditious process for all applications and, whenever possible, take final action on the application within 10 business days after receipt of a completed application.

     7.  (New section)  a.  The State Treasurer may deny an application for rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, as applicable, from the fund, and any rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement from the fund may be recoverable by the State Treasurer, upon a finding that:

     (1) the applicant is not an eligible recipient;

     (2) the applicant provided false information to obtain a rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, or withheld information on an application that would render the applicant ineligible for the  rebate disbursement or incentive disbursement, as applicable; or

     (3) the applicant provided false information or withheld information that resulted in the applicant receiving a larger rebate disbursement than the amount the applicant would otherwise be eligible.

     b.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the State Treasurer, board, department, or any other State agency to undertake an investigation or make any findings concerning the conduct described in subsection a. of this section.

 

     8.  (New section)  a.  Each seller or lessor of a new LDPEV in the State shall notify at the time of purchase or lease any eligible consumer of:

     (1) all the new LDPEVs that are eligible vehicles under the LDPEV rebate program;

     (2) the basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, and supplemental scrappage rebate to which an eligible consumer may be entitled;

     (3) the amount of each applicable rebate;

     (4) the option for the eligible consumer to have the amount of the applicable rebate deducted from the final negotiated and agreed upon sale price of the vehicle; and

     (5) the option for the eligible consumer, in lieu of deducting the rebate from the price paid for the vehicle, to apply for any rebate directly from the Department of the Treasury.

     b.  Each seller or lessor of an eligible vehicle shall provide at the time of purchase or lease the necessary application and submittal instructions to any eligible consumer choosing, or required by the seller or lessor, to apply for the rebate pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a. of this section.  A seller or lessor of an eligible vehicle shall not be required to offer the option in paragraph (4) of subsection a. of this section to the eligible consumer, but if the seller or lessor of an eligible vehicle does not offer that option, the seller or lessor shall provide the eligible consumer with all necessary information to exercise the option provided pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a. of this section, including, but not limited to, documentation that the seller or lessor did not provide the applicable rebate at the time of purchase.

     c. The basic rebate, supplemental low income rebate, and supplemental scrappage rebate shall each be offered in conjunction with, and in addition to, any other incentive offered for vehicles by the seller or lessor.  The total amount of the rebates to which the eligible consumer is entitled shall be deducted from the final sale price after all other incentives have been applied.

     d.  Upon conclusion of the sale or lease of an eligible vehicle, the seller or lessor shall immediately enter into the State plug-in electric vehicle database established pursuant to subsection i. of section 3 of this act the name and address of the purchaser or lessee of the eligible vehicle, the make and model of the purchased or leased eligible vehicle, any type of rebate applied, the amount of the rebate, and documentation of the reduction of the purchase or leasing price by the rebate amounts or of the eligible consumer’s request to apply for the rebate directly.

 

     9.  (New section)  On a calendar quarterly basis, the board shall provide to any electric public utility operating in the State the physical residential address of each eligible consumer on the date of the purchase or lease of the eligible consumer’s LDPEV in order to facilitate appropriate planning and reinforcement of electricity distribution and infrastructure affected by PEV charging.

 

     10. (New section) a. In addition to establishing and implementing the LDPEV rebate program pursuant to this act, the board shall study, develop, and identify needs, opportunities, and strategies for expanding electrification of vehicles beyond private ownership of light duty plug-in electric vehicles, and funding and implementation of programs to realize the beneficial goals enumerated in subsection b. of this section.

     b.  The board shall:

     (1) ensure equitable participation in vehicle electrification benefits and programs by low income and urban communities and other communities that suffer from deficient mobility options and disproportionate negative environmental impacts;

     (2) consider electric advanced mobility solutions and other transportation alternatives that serve those communities;

     (3) examine the benefits of the expansion of electrification of the wide range of heavy duty and medium duty vehicles typically powered by diesel fuel, that may also benefit from electrification, including, but not limited to, public buses, school buses, medium and heavy duty trucks, drayage equipment, and other off-road transportation; and

     (4) identify any funding for additional programs to be implemented by the board separate from the funding provided for the plug-in electric vehicle rebate program.

     c.  The board may develop and implement any programs to further the use of electric vehicles in the State studied and developed pursuant to subsection a. of this section, provided that the funds from the “Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate and Incentive Fund,” established pursunt to section 4 of this act, are not used for this purpose.  The implementation of programs pursuant to this section shall not be construed to be an expansion of the LDPEV rebate program established and implemented pursuant to this act.

 

     11.  Section 11 of P.L.2003, c.266 (C.54:32B-8.55) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  a.  Receipts from sales of zero emission vehicles and light duty plug-in electric vehicles sold on or after the first day of the fourth month following the effective date of P.L.2003, c.266 (C.26:2C-8.15 et al.) are exempt from the tax imposed under the "Sales and Use Tax Act," P.L.1966, c.30 (C.54:32B-1 et seq.) , except for receipts from the sale of a new light duty plug-in electric vehicle with an electric-only operating range of less than 200 miles as certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Any receipt from the sale of a new LDPEV with an electric-only operating range of less than 200 miles shall be partially exempt from the tax as calculated pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

     b.    The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall certify to the State Treasurer the make and model of those motor vehicles [that are zero emission vehicles] eligible for the full exemption and the make and model of any new LDPEV with an electric-only operating range of less than 200 miles eligible for a partial exemption, as provided pursuant to subsection a. of this section.  The commissioner shall certify to the State Treasurer the fraction of the electric-only range achieved by the vehicle out of a maximum of 200 miles.  The State Treasurer shall calculate the tax to be paid on such receipts based on this fraction and shall notify all motor vehicle distributors, sellers, and lessors of new LDPEVs in the State of the percentage of tax to be paid.

     c.     As used in this section, “light duty plug-in electric vehicle” or “LDPEV” means any light-duty vehicle that includes a battery or equivalent energy storage device that can be charged from an electricity supply external to the vehicle through an electric plug, and shall include light duty plug-in electric vehicles solely powered by electricity and light duty plug-in hybrid vehicles powered by electricity and another fuel source; and "zero emission vehicle" means a vehicle certified as a zero emission vehicle pursuant to the California Air Resources Board zero emission vehicle standards for the applicable model year, but shall not include any other type of vehicle that may be delivered by a manufacturer for sale or lease to satisfy the zero emission vehicle requirement established by the California Air Resources Board in lieu of a vehicle that qualifies as a pure zero emission vehicle.

(cf:  P.L.2003, c.266, s.11)

     12.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a Statewide rebate program on the purchase or lease of eligible new light duty plug-in electric vehicles, to be funded by the Board of Public Utilities without dependence on the State General Fund, in the amount of at least $100 million per year for three years. The program may be extended if certain criteria are met.  Supplemental rebates are provided for low income purchasers or lessees and purchasers or lessees who trade in an older non-electric vehicle that is scrapped at the time of purchase.  This bill also establishes additional incentives, including modifications to the current sales tax exemption for zero emission vehicles.