BMW ActiveE electric car in front of old gas pumps, Belvidere, NJ [photo: Tom Moloughney]
Critics of electric cars often use the argument that, because electric-car drivers don’t pay gas taxes, they don’t contribute their fair share of road-maintenance costs.
But state gas-tax revenue don’t necessarily go toward funding infrastructure, or at least not all of it.
In last Tuesday’s election, voters in one state ensured that their gasoline taxes would go entirely toward paying for their roads.
DON’T MISS: NJ electric-car advocacy group launches as gas tax soars
New Jersey voters approved a ballot measure that would require all proceeds from a newly-increased gas tax be dedicated to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, according to The New York Times.
The ballot measures called for an amendment to the state’s constitution requiring all gas-tax money to go to the fund, which pays for infrastructure projects in the Garden State.
Proponents—which included unions and many businesses—said the ballot measure would keep politicians from using the money elsewhere, according to the Times.
Opposition to the measure was reportedly led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, a Republican expected to run for governor next year to replace Chris Christie, whose final term ends next year.
The Christie Administration has been rocked by allegations of corruption, and the governor was largely absent from his state during the presidential election season as he campaigned for now president-elect Trump.
Guadagno had argued that the ballot measure would require $12 billion in state borrowing to support the transportation fund, The New York Times reported.
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Approval of the ballot measure came amid a historic increase in New Jersey’s gas tax.
The state has traditionally been the place where people from neighboring Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania go to buy cheap gasoline.
But the governor and state legislature recently struck a deal to increase the gas tax by a whopping 23 cents a gallon.
Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey
Electric-car advocates are already seizing on the increased gas tax and other anticipated changes as an opportunity to boost electric-car adoption in the state.
New Jersey is not one of the nine states that have adopted California Zero-Emission Vehicle emission rules, but electric-car drivers in the dense region will often pass through it.
A new advocacy group called ChargEVC launched in New Jersey earlier this month.
MORE: Curbside electric-car charging in Jersey City highlights importance for city drivers
Its aim is to “research, educate, and advocate for the widespread adoption of next-generation electric vehicles in New Jersey.”
The new group believes New Jersey could become a friendly place for electric cars in part because of its proximity so many states with zero-emission vehicle rules.
State residents also respond to concerns over air pollution, and the fact that New Jersey already generates much of its power from clean sources—making electric cars very low in wells-to-wheels carbon impact.
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