Right now there are close to 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in New Jersey, and that number is expected to more than triple over the next three years.

As prices at the pump keep climbing a growing number of Garden State residents are considering buying an EV, but a major problem is looming on the not-too-distant horizon.

According to New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean when electric vehicle batteries conk out you can’t just toss them into a landfill because they are toxic.

“The lithium, the cobalt, the graphite that are the raw critical minerals are contaminants, we certainly don’t want them getting into our water supply,” he said

He also noted when you’re talking about EV batteries, “there is an issue of explosive capacity with these type of minerals, they really need to be handled very safely.”

We’re not ready

He said the Garden State “is certainly lagging in preparation of years to come when there is going to be a plethora of these electric vehicle batteries, what do we do with them?”

He said “it’s an issue that we cannot put off."

"We have millions of electric vehicles (in the U.S.) and we must prepare for the end of life on these electric vehicle batteries.”

What next?

In response he’s introduced a measure, A3492 that calls for the creation of a special task force “to study and make recommendations on ways to safely store, reuse and properly dispose of these batteries.”

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The proposed 11- member task force would be established within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and would be required to produce a report with recommendations to the governor and the Legislature within 2 years.

Dancer said he is also concerned that 80% of the materials used in EV batteries right now come from China, which could pose a supply problem in the future.

He pointed out that when electric vehicle batteries can no longer run a car or truck that can be used in a limited capacity for home energy projects and to power street lights.

He said the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has reached out to him and offered their assistance in coming up with a plan to properly handle the EV batteries.

The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee is now considering the legislation

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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