New Jersey's mandate to force you into a very expensive all-electric vehicle is coming. Beginning in 2035, all brand-new cars sold in The Garden State must be fully electric.

This announcement of course set off a lot of opposition to such an aggressive shift, especially when most vehicles today still run on gasoline. And that pushback is coming on many fronts.

First off, let's look at the electric vehicles themselves. As of now, the technology simply isn't there for a quick charge on the batteries.

You just can't drive to a charging station and get the battery to 100% in only a few minutes. Sure, electric cars may be good for local everyday use right now, but they're simply not practical for long trips.

electric car SUV charging at home in front of modern low energy suburban house
Sven Loeffler

So technology on electric vehicles, specifically the batteries, still has quite a way to go before we get there. Once we can charge within a 10-minute window, we'll be in a much better place for such a mandate.

But when it comes to New Jersey specifically, we have to ask. Is our power grid ready for such an increase in usage?

We have such an outdated power grid as it is. This move to all-electric vehicles just doesn't seem logical without a big upgrade so the power grid can handle the increased flow of electricity.

Not to mention, any type of logical infrastructure for charging. Yes, you can charge at home if you install a plug, but that's not enough.

Power lines on blue sky.

As of now, there's absolutely no way to easily know where to charge your vehicles. Unlike a gas station, there's nothing uniform about where you can go if your battery is running low.

The bottom line is this. New Jersey still has a very long way to go in order to be ready for such a mandate, which will no doubt be expensive.

And if things don't progress in a speedy fashion, it'll hurt all New Jersey car dealers. Customers will simply go into NY, PA, or DE to make their new vehicle purchase beginning in 2035, further hurting New Jersey's economy.

Eletric Car Charging Area
Sean Gallup, Getty Stock / ThinkStock

On top of all that, the cost of an EV is also very high. So high, in fact, that people are simply not buying them as a result. Or at least, not buying fully electric, which is concerning in New Jersey.

According to a report by Bloomberg, "Concerns about high sticker prices and limited charging infrastructure for electric cars are driving renewed interest in the gasoline-electric vehicles."

And that is where New Jersey should be looking if they insist on keeping a ban on new gasoline vehicles in place come 2035. Avoid fully electric and take a more realistic approach.

Gas station attendant / Future of electric vehicles (EV)
Minerva Studio via Canva

Hybrid is more realistic

Hybrid vehicles put us in a better position to implement such a ban on fully gasoline-powered vehicles. They use significantly less fuel while still allowing us to forward toward a greener world.

Hybrid vehicles are also better for road trips. Should you need a charge while running on low gas, you could still fill up quickly and be on your way.

And we have a proper infrastructure in place now to support that, allowing us a more realistic timeframe to prepare for a flip to all-electric vehicles.

Telsa CEO Elon Musk Unveils New Vehicle
Getty Images

One issue with this, however, is incentives for hybrid vehicles. Right now, those incentives heavily favor only fully electric vehicles.

New Jersey should offer the same incentives for both hybrid and well as fully-electric. Or maybe, slightly scaled-back incentives.

Think of it as a compromise where the state still rewards you for moving toward a greener world even if the car is only partially electric. With fully electric vehicles being as expensive as they are, hybrid is certainly the way we should go.

Make no mistake, the cost is a major concern when it comes to affording a fully electric vehicle, and it's something we have to take a very close look at as 2035 approaches.

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Yes, keep the ban on fully gas-powered cars, but allow hybrid models so we can all still afford a new vehicle in The Garden State. Maybe come 2040 we'll finally be able to afford all-electric.

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As of late 2022, there were around 80,000 electric vehicles on the road in New Jersey, accounting for more than one of every 100 vehicles in NJ, according to state data.

Here's the top 21 zip codes — the overwhelming majority of EV are personal vehicles.

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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