⚫ 50% of adults polled are strongly or somewhat opposed to NJ's future mandate

⚫ Most can't see themselves buying an electric vehicle

⚫ Certain demographics love the eventual phase out of gas-powered vehicles

If you're not yet aware that New Jersey plans to completely phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by the year 2035, here's your next warning, well in advance.

And if the idea of this change makes you nervous, you are certainly not alone.

In fact, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 50% of New Jersey adults are opposed to the rule. And 56% say they they're not likely to purchase an electric vehicle.

"Even as a dozen or so states across the country adopt the same regulations, New Jerseyans are divided on the matter of electric vehicles and the impact they will have," said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University—New Brunswick.

Despite opposition to the policy, a majority of New Jerseyans believe that the move would have a positive impact on the state's air quality and residents' health. But 47% believe it would have a negative impact on their personal finances, and less than a third say the policy would be a plus for New Jersey's economy.

Of respondents who say they likely would not buy an electric vehicle, a plurality say cost is the main reason. Respondents also cite concerns related to charging their vehicle.

Demographic differences

"I think a lot of this has to do with lack of information and lack of awareness on the issue at the moment," Koning said. "That's why we see so much division here."

Demographics play a major part in residents' views on the topic. At 68%, support for the mandate is strongest among Democrats. In the poll, 15% of Republicans support the policy.

The mandate also gets majority support from Black and multiracial residents, those aged 18 to 34, and individuals who live in urban environments.

"I would expect these numbers would change as people get more information. Which direction they might change — we're not sure yet," Koning said.

Ahead of the complete phase-out by 2035, at least 51% of all new car sales in New Jersey must be electric vehicles by 2027, under Gov. Phil Murphy's plans. These are plans that can be overruled by legislators or undone by future governors.

In the poll, 45% of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate running for office in New Jersey if they supported the state's phase-out policy. Twenty percent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for such a candidate.

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