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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

May 10, 2019

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske (609) 292-2994


(19/P035) TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe will join Mayor Liz Lempert for a sustainability event in Princeton tomorrow during which the public will have an opportunity to test drive the latest models of electric and hybrid vehicles that help curb emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Electric-Vehicle Test DriveThe test drives will be available during the Princeton GreenFest, A Celebration of Sustainable Living, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street. The DEP’s Drive Green NJ Program will offer to the public free test drives of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars and bikes in collaboration with Sustainable Princeton and the Princeton Shopping Center.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and to get behind the wheel to see what they are all about,” Commissioner McCabe said. “Sales of electric vehicles continue to climb as prices go down and the region’s network of charging stations expands. The Murphy Administration is taking numerous proactive steps to spur growth of electric-vehicle sales as part of its overall goals of reducing the impacts of air pollution and climate change.”

“We are thrilled that the DEP’s Drive Green NJ program has selected Princeton for an electric-vehicle and electric-bike ride-and-drive program at this weekend's GreenFest,” Mayor Lempert said. “Making the shift from fossil fuels to electric powered vehicles is a key priority in our Climate Action Plan. I’m personally very excited to test out one of the e-bikes.”

Models from Tesla, Nissan, Chevrolet and other top automakers will be available for test rides.

Everyone who test drives an electric car will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a 32-gigabyte tablet or a waterproof wireless Bluetooth speaker. To take a test drive, attendees must show a valid driver’s license and complete a waiver.

New Jersey has been aggressively spurring the use of electric vehicles, also known as EVs, by implementing various marketing-related initiatives, including the Drive Green program and the It Pay$ to Plug In – New Jersey’s Electric Vehicle charging grant program, which provides grants to incentive employers to install charging stations for workers.

In addition, the state is part of the Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicle initiative, a collaboration of states working to support the growth of zero-emission vehicles. The state is also implementing emissions reduction efforts, particularly in urban areas, with funds received as part of federal and state pollution settlements with Volkswagen.

GreenFest provides the public with a fun and entertaining opportunity to learn about living more sustainably. The event will feature more than 20 sustainability-minded businesses, restaurants and nonprofits, along with sustainable art-making and activities, live performances, a DJ, a sustainable fashion show, photo booth, and a wildlife presentation.

Experts will be on hand to provide information on the fuel and maintenance savings afforded by electric vehicles and the thousands of dollars in federal and state incentives available to buy electric vehicles. They will also be able to answer questions about installing home chargers and charging options on the road.

The state now has more than 780 public charging stations at nearly 300 locations. Moreover, charging stations continue to expand in neighboring states, making it easier than ever to take longer trips in an electric vehicle. More than 23,000 electric and hybrid vehicles are registered in the state, compared to fewer than 400 at the beginning of the decade.

The event will also provide an opportunity to learn about Princeton’s draft Climate Action Plan,  a community-focused plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make Princeton more resilient to the increasing impacts of climate change. The mission of Sustainable Princeton is to develop and implement community-level environmental solutions.

By establishing an ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the plan will provide a roadmap to reduce Princeton’s contribution to climate change and prepare for its impacts.

Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in New Jersey, accounting for 42 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, transportation sector emissions account for 71 percent of the state’s nitrogen oxides, a major contributor to smog. Smog forms when pollutants interact with sunlight and hot temperatures during warmer months to create ground-level ozone molecules.

Ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere by shielding harmful rays from the sun but is a health hazard at ground level. Ozone irritates tiny lung sacs known as alveoli and can increase asthma attacks in asthmatics and make people more vulnerable to lung diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

GreenFest will take place on the  two-acre courtyard at the Princeton Shopping Center, which promotes sustainability by providing features such as an electric-vehicle charging station, parking-lot rainwater collection islands and a bike-share.

To learn more about the performance, availability and comfort of electric vehicles, as well as how to save money and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, visit



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Last Updated: May 10, 2019