There will soon be $45 million up for grabs for businesses across New Jersey that are interested in purchasing zero-emission vehicles.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Monday announced the upcoming expansion of its New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program (NJ ZIP) that has already been accepting and approving applications in seelect cities.

NJEDA also announced that the pilot program will be widened to include purchases of heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and tractor-trailers — up until now, the program applied to medium-duty vehicles, such as vans and shuttles.

"We anticipate being able to support 200 to 500 vehicle purchases," said Victoria Carey, Clean Energy Manager for NJEDA.

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The voucher program, funded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, can reduce the cost of a business's purchase by as much as $100,000.

While zero-emission vehicles feature higher upfront costs, Carey said, they are less costly to operate over time. So, businesses that take advantage of the program would benefit doubly on the financial side, and run a more environment-friendly operation.

Information for interested participants should be available on the agency's NJ ZIP page once the program's approval goes through a mandated 10-day review period.

As of last month, NJEDA had approved 144 applications totaling $32.2 million in vouchers. According to Carey, more than 90% of the program's participants have been small businesses, and 57% are woman- or minority-owned enterprises.

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Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2022

Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.

There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.

Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue.