Part 1: Electric Cars and Charging Stations – Are New Jersey Community Associations Ready?



Are you ready to plug in instead of fill up? If so, you’ll join over 2,500 of your fellow New Jersey drivers who’ve already made the switch from gasoline-powered to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) – or a combination of both. 

PEVs, popularly known as “electric cars,” are vehicles operated all or in part by battery power.  PEVs come in two varieties:  plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).  What’s the difference?  We’ve got the scoop:

As hybrids, PHEVs can run on both gasoline and battery power, and the double option reduces “range anxiety” for drivers who may not be near charging stations when their batteries run low.  When using battery power alone, PHEVs can travel up to 35 miles, and their range expands exponentially, to more than 300 miles, when they’re in combined electric/gas hybrid mode.  As an added bonus, PHEVs typically have low emissions, depending on how much gasoline they use.  BEVs run exclusively on electricity stored in their batteries, so they are zero emissions vehicles.  Their ranges are significantly lower, however, 70 – 100 miles before they need a recharge. 

Currently, over 25 PEV models are available in this country, with more options planned over the next few years.  Indeed, many car manufacturers have announced plans to launch additional models with more features and better benefits to meet the increasing interest and demand.  New Jersey drivers are helping to fuel this momentum – like drivers across the country, they’re interested in vehicle options that are innovative, budget-friendly and environmentally responsible. 

Speaking of budget, while electric cars have higher purchase prices than conventional vehicles, buyers may be eligible for federal tax credits of $7,500 for battery-powered vehicles and nearly $5,000 for most plug-in hybrids.  Your accounting or tax consultant or a PEV dealership can provide more details about the regulations and benefits in New Jersey. 

As electric cars become more popular, more drivers are seeking out charging stations near their homes and offices – and community associations, HOAs and condo associations throughout New Jersey are responding.  What about your community?  Is your association considering installing an on-site electric car charging station?  If so, read Part 2 – our follow-up article containing valuable info and guidelines to help your association decide if an electric car charging station is the right choice for your community.  To learn more about how to enhance your homeowners’ lifestyles, contact New Jersey community management leader FirstService Residential