A proposal in New Jersey would provide rebates of up to $5,000 to people who buy electric cars and set statewide goals for their future use, in what lawmakers hope will be a boost to an industry that is still eclipsed by traditional gas-powered automobiles.

Supporters said the move would also be a major step in fighting climate change in New Jersey, where the transportation sector accounts for more than 40% of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The electric vehicles — they’re ready,” said Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Morris. “And I would suggest that in New Jersey, they’re going to be ready to explode now.”

But industry officials said the move would cost gas station workers their jobs and force residents to subsidize other people’s electric vehicle purchases.

The legislation would be funded with $30 million in proceeds from the “societal benefits charge,” a fee paid by New Jersey utility customers.

Read the full story on WHYY.org