By Kyle Huber
In 2012, New Jersey registered 338 electric cars. Today, there are 23,000 and the state recently announced its goal of having at least 330,000 zero-emission-vehicles registered by 2025.
This growth in ownership of electric vehicles may be driven by price. This summer, the news outlet Quartz reported that, based on data analysis by researcher Cox Automotive, EV prices have dropped nearly 14 percent to $55,600 from $64,300. Compare that to $36,600, the median retail price for all vehicles in the U.S., Quartz said.
“I would love an electric car but they’re just mad expensive” said Fairleigh Dickinson freshman Justin Sierra. “There’s barely anywhere to charge them either.”
Through September, some 1.3 million electric vehicles have been sold in the U.S. since 2010, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
Raritan Valley Community College, The College of New Jersey and New Jersey City University offer electric car charging stations. Some of the spots are open to the public at all times, not just for the students or faculty. The spots at New Jersey City University are for faculty and students only, and users must register in advance in order to use.
Rutgers University reports plans to spread 50 new chargers between campuses in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.
According to Fairleigh Dickinson’s Public Safety, there are no electric cars registered at the university and no immediate plans for charging stations.
“That is part of the reason I can’t even consider getting one,” said William Marte, a senior. “It just wouldn’t make any sense for me as a student who dorms.”
There are 330 public charging spots currently available in the state. A large area of south-central Jersey has no charging stations. The majority of the chargers in the state are 110-volt, which take well over 30 minutes to deliver a full charge.
“There aren’t enough stations for me,” said Thomas Brennan, a professor at The College of New Jersey in a piece for NJ.com.
Help is on the way. The state is planning to build 820 new charging stations, funded by settlement money from a lawsuit involving Volkswagen, which was caught putting devices inside their vehicles that altered the readings of harmful emissions the cars were giving off.
The $3.2 million worth of the settlement going to charging stations will more than double the number in the state. They will cost just under $10,000 each, according to northjersey.com.
This story part of The Equinox’s participation in a statewide climate reporting collaboration by members of the NJ College News Commons, a network of campus media outlets working together to cover the climate crisis in New Jersey.