Owning an EV in New Jersey: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

EV charging

Owning an EV in New Jersey: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

As the world shifts towards renewable energy sources, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming an increasingly popular choice. In New Jersey, these EVs are more accessible than ever, thanks to the ever-expanding network of charging stations and the state’s range of incentives. However, what exactly does it mean to own an electric vehicle in New Jersey? Is the overall ownership cost cheaper than in other states or more expensive?

In April 2023, New Jersey had to halt its electric vehicle rebates program because it became so popular it exhausted all of the earmarked funds. The New Jersey rebates program grants up to $4,000 for EV leasing and owning. This amount is quite substantial, considering that the average EV cost of a new electric vehicle is about $58,000. The return of the EV rebates program, coupled with the government’s proposed strict automobile pollution limits, will see more people buy into owning and leasing electric vehicles. 

In this article, we’ll cover what it’s like to own an EV in New Jersey, including the available incentives, infrastructure, the cost of charging, and other important considerations. Whether you are considering making the switch or are an EV owner, this article will give you valuable insights into owning an EV in Garden State. 

New Jersey EVs Charging Infrastructure

New Jersey has been making strides to expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the longest time. Although it has fewer charging stations than California, the state intends to have 330,000 plug-in EVs by 2025 and 2 million by 2035, focusing on 400 DC fast chargers in at least 200 locations. 

Fast charging stations allow EV owners to recharge their cars in as little as 20 to 30 minutes making long-distance travel more feasible. The state also intends to have at least 15% of multi-family residential properties and 20% of overnight franchised lodging establishments equipped with EVSE by 2025.

Besides plans to install EV chargers all over New Jersey, the state implemented policies and set up incentives for home EV charger installments. Residents can use the incentives to buy level 2 chargers once eligible. 

How Many Charging Stations Are in New Jersey?

Available data indicate that there are 3,276 charging stations in New Jersey. This number is high but not as high as those in California, New York, Michigan, or Texas. Trento City, with 208 chargers, makes for the NJ City with the most chargers. Other EV-friendly cities within New Jersey include Atlantic City-Hammonton with 129, Ocean City with 60, and Trenton with 12. 

Types of Charging Stations in New Jersey 

Like any other state, New Jersey has four main types of charging stations spread across different cities and towns. These include:

  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3 
  • Tesla Superchargers

If you own an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, you can charge it with a Level One charger at home. That’s because it takes quite a while, sometimes up to 20 hours, to charge an EV. It makes sense that if you are on the road or driving a leased EV, you’d want something much faster, like a Level 2, DCFC, or a Tesla Supercharger. 

Charger Types

  • Level 1 Charger: The level one charger is the most basic of the four, and you’d typically find it included in most EV purchases. These chargers use standard 120-volt outlets and can take upwards of 20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. You’ll often find these chargers at home because they are ideal for overnight charging.
  • Level 2: A level 2 charger can fully charge an EV in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the battery capacity. They use a 240-volt outlet that delivers more power to the EV battery that Level 1 EV chargers. Often, you’ll find them in public places like workplaces, public charging stations, and residential homes. 
  • DC Fast Charger (DCFC): These chargers are the most powerful and fastest. Unlike Levels 1 and 2, DCFCs use direct current (DC) to charge the battery, enabling the EV to charge up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. You’ll typically find this charger along major highways and commercial areas to facilitate long-distance EV travel.
  • Tesla Superchargers: The Tesla Superchargers use DC fast charging technology to charge a Tesla vehicle’s battery. This allows drivers to continue long-distance trips without worrying about running out of charge. Like DCFCs, Tesla Superchargers can charge a Tesla vehicle up to 80% in just 30-40 minutes, depending on the model and battery size. You’ll find them along major highways and popular destinations, making it easy for Tesla owners to plan long-distance trips.
A Tesla Supercharger site
Tesla’s Superchargers use DC fast charging technology to charge Teslas up to 80% in about 30-40 minutes.

Trenton City has about 38 DCFC stations, 33 Tesla stations, and 25 free stations. You’ll find 26 DCFCs, 18 Tesla stations, and about 31 free stations in Atlantic City. The City of Newark has about 41 public charging stations (Level 2 and DCFC) within 10 miles. It’s worth noting that not all EVs are compatible with all types of chargers. As such, drivers should check their vehicles’ compatibility before plugging in. 

The Cost of Owning an EV in New Jersey

The overall cost of owning an EV goes beyond the amount you’d spend charging the car. While this metric is important, it’s also necessary to consider other factors like state VAT on EVs and insurance costs. The good thing with New Jersey is that there’s a sales and use tax exemption on zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Owners are not subject to the annual VAT charge as in other states. 

EVs are generally expensive, so when it comes to insurance, expect to pay some substantial premiums. For instance, the annual average cost for a full coverage policy for a Porsche Taycan is about $4,725. A Tesla Model 3 would cost you about $3,278, a Nissan Leaf $2,229, and Hyundai Kona, the cheapest, would cost about $2,152. 

The Cost of Charging an EV in New Jersey

Most people go for EVs because they are cheaper to maintain, and one factor they consider the most is the cost of charging. However, the amount you’d pay varies from state to state because of differences in electricity rates. In 2022, the average electricity rate in NJ was $0.164 per kWh (kilowatt hour).

In reference to 2022 data, New Jersey isn’t exactly the cheapest state to charge an EV. The average cost is about $16.40, 2.50% higher than the national average. We used the Tesla Model X as a standard for this metric, but the true cost may vary depending on the car’s make and battery size. Here’s how much charging various popular EVs in New Jersey would cost.

Tesla Model 3

To calculate the cost of charging a Tesla Model 3 in New Jersey, we need to consider its battery capacity and the efficiency of the charging process. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range has a nominal battery capacity of 78.1 kWh, while the Standard Range Plus has a nominal battery capacity of 55 kWh. 

Assuming the battery is empty and must be fully charged. Using the given electricity rate of $0.164 per kWh, the cost of fully charging a Tesla Model 3 Long Range would be: 78.1 kWh x $0.164/kWh = $12.80. Similarly, the cost of fully charging a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus would be: 55 kWh x $0.164/kWh = $9.02

most popular EVs in Oregon
The Tesla Model 3 has a battery capacity of 55 kWh which costs about $9 to charge in New Jersey.

Tesla Model S

The 2022 and 2023 Tesla Model S have a battery capacity of 100 kWh, slightly down from the 104kWh size in the 2021 model. Given the $.164 rate in New Jersey, it would cost approximately $16.40 to fully charge this car. If you have the previous model, the cost would be slightly higher at $17.06. 

Tesla Model Y

Every Model Y comes with a 75-kWh battery pack capable of recharging at up to 250 kW, thanks to the widespread Tesla  Superchargers. However, some reports indicate that the AWD Model Y features a 67.6 kWH. The long-range and performance variants have a capacity of about 81 kWh. 

You should pay about $12.30 to charge the car fully. However, if the reports are accurate, charging an AWD would cost you $11.0864. The long-range and performance variants would cost about $13.284. 

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is one of the cheapest EVs on the market. This car drives short distances and is ideal for urban commuting. It doesn’t have a large battery capacity like the Tesla and other high-end variants. The car has a 40kWh battery, but the usable capacity is about 39kWh. A full charge will cost you about $6.56. 

Nissan Leaf vs. Sony Afeela EV
The Nissan Leaf costs less than $7 to charge in New Jersey.

New Jersey Electric Vehicle Incentives 

As mentioned above, New Jersey aims to register 330,000 electric vehicles by 2025. Their aim is to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector. According to the state’s Clean Energy Program, the transport sector is responsible for 46% of the net greenhouse gas emissions. Proponents of the Clean Energy program hope to encourage more people to adopt EVs, which is paramount to reaching a 100% clean energy future. 

The Charge up New Jersey Program

This initiative, Charge Up New Jersey is an incentivized program that offers up to $4,000 in rebates to individuals who buy or lease an EV from any dealership or showroom within Garden State. With any eligible purchase or lease, drivers can receive up to $25 per mile of EPA-rated all-electric range. Up to $4000 in rebates applies to vehicles with an MSRP of $45,000. Vehicles with an MSRP of between $45,000 and $55,000 can receive rebates at most $2,000. Also, vehicles with an electric range of more than 200 miles can receive rebates of up to $4,000, depending on the car’s MSRP. 

Waived Sale and Use Tax

In 2004, New Jersey passed a law that provided a Sale and Use Tax Exemption for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). These are vehicles certified per the California Air Resource Board zero emission standard for the model year. The vehicle must not be a partial zero-emission vehicle, including hybrids like the Honda Civic or Toyota Prius. Also, the exemption doesn’t apply to vehicle parts and labor of those that qualify. 

MUD EV Charger Incentive Program

This program, offered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, issues grants of up to $4,000 to owners and operators of Multi-Unit Dwelling (MUD) EVs to purchase and install Level 2 EV chargers. MUDs located in overburdened municipalities can receive grants totaling $6,000. 

Closing Thoughts 

Owning an electric vehicle (EV) in New Jersey offers numerous advantages, including a growing charging infrastructure and various incentives. Although the state has fewer charging stations than others, efforts are underway to increase their numbers significantly. Moreover, New Jersey provides a sales tax exemption for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and a popular EV rebates program that grants EV owners up to $4,000. 

While charging costs may not be the lowest, they remain more cost-effective than traditional fuel. Overall, owning an EV in New Jersey aligns with the state’s commitment to reducing emissions and transitioning to cleaner transportation options.

Breaking EV News

June 8, 2023 — Following Ford’s May 25 announcement, General Motors (GM) Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announced that GM electric vehicle (EV) owners will soon gain access to 12,000 Tesla Superchargers. According to Barra, this transition “…could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

Both Ford and GM vehicles will be able to charge at Tesla’s Superchargers using an adaptor at the start of 2024. And both brands’ EVs will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector starting in 2025.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does New Jersey have EV incentives?

New Jersey has several EV incentives, including the Charge Up New Jersey, which provides rebates of up to $4,000 for purchasing and leasing EVs. The state also offers a MUDs charger incentive to owners that operate Multi-Unit dwellings to purchase and install Level 2 chargers.

How does the NJ EV incentive work?

The rebate amount is determined based on the vehicle’s MSRP and all-electric range. Vehicles with an MSRP between $45,000 and $55,000 are eligible for rebates of up to $2,000. The vehicle must have an MSRP of $45,000 or less to be eligible for the maximum rebate of $4,000.Vehicles with an all-electric range of more than 200 miles can receive rebates of up to $4,000, depending on the MSRP.

Does NJ charge sales tax on EV cars?

New Jersey doesn’t charge sales tax on electric vehicles (EVs). The state provides a sales and use tax exemption for zero-emission vehicles, which includes EVs. This exemption means that when purchasing or leasing an eligible EV in New Jersey, buyers are not required to pay the usual sales tax that applies to other types of vehicles.

How much does it cost to charge an EV in NJ?

The average cost of charging an EV in New Jersey is $16.40. However, this value is bound to change depending on the model of the vehicle and battery size. The higher the kWh battery size, the more you’ll pay, and vice versa.

Do you need a permit to install an EV charger in NJ?

While installing an EV charging station doesn’t require a construction permit, you must comply with the set construction code of conduct. The state provides for this under the Uniform Construction Code.

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