Franchised Dealers Key to Greater Electric Vehicle Adoption

New Jersey’s 500+ franchised new car and truck dealers are committed to driving the continued growth in electric vehicle (EV) adoption by New Jersey consumers. These critical local businesses always have been champions of change, with a proven track record of reliably responding to evolving technologies.

The state EV goals are ambitious and require educating consumers about EVs and helping them become more comfortable with the new, and evolving, technology. Adjusting to changes in auto technology is not new to dealers. Flashing turn signals, power steering, automatic transmissions, anti-lock brakes, GPS technology and more were all once considered new technologies that required dealers to educate and support consumers. The incredibly fast advancement of EV technology is no different.

An accelerated transition to EVs requires careful planning that takes into account ALL factors, including environmental goals, consumer preferences and the potential impact on consumer choice and vehicle affordability.

Right here in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy’s focus is on transitioning consumer purchases from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs as quickly as possible. The governor’s goal is for the state to reach 100% sales of EVs by 2035. As partners in this endeavor, New Jersey’s neighborhood new car and truck dealers are all in on EVs and 100% committed to a zero-emission transportation future.

Automakers will invest some $1.2 trillion in electrification by 2030. By the end of the year, New Jersey dealers will have spent nearly $170 million on the installation of more (and faster) EV chargers, employee training, service department upgrades and more to prepare themselves to sell and service an ever-growing number of EVs.

Franchised dealerships already offer more than 40 vehicles with a plug, and that number will grow to more than 140 in the next few years, with options available in every vehicle category and at every price point. Dealers also partner with other EV stakeholders to educate consumers about the unique aspects of EV ownership.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) anticipates that EV registrations will need to reach 4.5 million in New Jersey by 2035 in order for the state to meet its aggressive clean car goals. That is a heavy lift considering total EV registrations in New Jersey accounted for just 9.3% of the market in the first quarter of 2023. Despite the uphill climb, New Jersey’s franchised dealerships remain committed to working towards achieving these goals and are vital participants in the push for greater EV adoption.

One of the primary obstacles to greater EV adoption is a charging infrastructure that can handle the influx of EVs expected in the years ahead. That’s why franchised dealerships are doing their part by installing more (and faster) EV chargers.

Another hurdle to greater EV adoption is the affordability of EVs, which are typically more expensive than comparable ICE vehicles. That’s why the state created the Charge Up New Jersey EV incentive program and is relying on dealers to drive its continued success. This $300 million program seeks to annually fund $30 million of incentives to drive EV sales over the span of a decade. The program has completed three rounds of funding and was expected to launch its fourth year of consumer incentives in July.

Through this program, consumers who purchase eligible EVs receive substantial discounts on their purchases. The dealerships play two critical roles to ensure the process is as seamless as possible for consumers. First, they process consumers’ applications for the rebate. Second, and most importantly, participating dealerships provide the money up-front. Put simply – the rebate is available immediately to the consumer because the dealership fronts the rebate. Add in generous federal EV tax incentives on some vehicles and the fact that there is currently no New Jersey sales tax on EVs, and an EV purchase becomes a viable option for more consumers.

It will take the cooperation of all EV stakeholders to drive continued EV growth in New Jersey and the state’s neighborhood new car and truck dealers are ready, willing and able to lead the charge (pun fully intended).

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