As a new campaign launches to put more electric vehicles on New Jersey's roads, Democratic lawmakers say an increased number of charging stations would be a big help.

Advanced by a legislative committee on Monday, a measure sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Benson, D-Mercer, would require the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at certain service areas along the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway.

Stations would be mandatory at public service areas with at least 100 parking spaces, and they'd have to take up at least 5 percent of the parking area.

"We want to make sure that we continue to build on our electronic charging station infrastructure in the state of New Jersey," Benson said, noting the move would come at minimal to no cost due to the bill's language.

AP Photo/Russell Contreras
Electric vehicle charging station (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

The bill states the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Turnpike Authority can "recover costs associated with the charging stations from motorists who use the stations."

According to Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, there are currently 400 charging stations in the state.

"Some of the best places to put these charging stations are clearly our major transportation corridors," O'Malley said. "The fundamental question for a purchaser of an electric vehicle is can I get from point A to point B without running low on juice?"

Thousands of New Jerseyans have already signed up for the Tesla 3, promoted as an affordable eco-friendly sedan being released next year, according to Jeff Tittel of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

"There's going to be, within the next year, 40 different plug-in models available, and we've got 400 plug-in stations," Tittel said. "We need to get moving because it'll move our economy as well as our environment."

On Nov. 3, a coalition of electric vehicle stakeholders was launched in New Jersey to highlight the importance of these vehicles in the fight against climate change and roller-coaster oil prices. The coalition, known as ChargEVC, said New Jersey "is a fitting site for the new campaign," pointing to its vulnerability to sea-level rise and major storms like Superstorm Sandy.

According to ChargEVC, electric vehicles run on the cost equivalent of $1 per gallon of gasoline.

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