FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2021
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
(21/P031) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection is celebrating National Drive Electric Week and encouraging New Jersey residents to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by announcing Red Bank in Monmouth County as the third New Jersey town to become a Destination Electric community and unveiling a new and improved website touting the many environmental and economic benefits of electric fleets, Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said.
Red Bank’s new designation and the upgraded website coincide with New Jersey’s celebration of National Drive Electric Week, which began Saturday and concludes Sunday. Drive Electric Week raises awareness about the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Free in-person and virtual events throughout this week provide a chance to peek under the hood, talk to owners who have made the switch, and learn about valuable incentives. Educating the public about electric vehicles is especially important in New Jersey, where emissions from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
“Partnering with local governments and small businesses, the Murphy Administration is driving new investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and building the public confidence in EVs that is necessary to decarbonize our transportation system,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “As we make more of our communities EV destination-friendly, we will improve local air quality and public health as we grow our green economy.”
Red Bank joins Jersey City and Princeton as New Jersey’s third community in Destination Electric, which highlights local businesses, venues and attractions that are close to public charging stations. These businesses display decals within their storefronts to show their customers they are part of the program and support driving electric.
Supporting the next level of transportation technology is well-suited for Red Bank, which sits on the Navesink River and was once a key transportation corridor to the Jersey shore. Today, the borough is a destination for dining and shopping, as well as a cultural arts hub for music, theater and more.
“The Destination Electric initiative is something, in my opinion, that most centers in New Jersey should sign on to because it provides accessibility to a whole new market, convenience, and makes excellent economic and practical sense,” Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said. “To make it easier for people to participate would have, in turn, a future growth factor and people will start thinking more in terms of hybrid or electric-charge vehicles. That’s good for the environment, good for global warming, it’s economical, and it makes a great mix.”
In addition to New Jersey, Destination Electric Communities are designated in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to raise awareness about the growing network of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in communities and across the country.
Also newly launched is an enhanced DEP website describing electrification opportunities for medium and heavy-duty fleets of vehicles. These fleets of trucks and buses account for only 4 percent of all vehicles on the road, but nearly 25 percent of transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. This vehicle fleet is a significant contributor to air pollution and climate change with approximately 500,000 medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road.
"Electrifying New Jersey's transportation sector extends to ensuring zero emissions from the trucks and buses that drive through neighborhoods to deliver goods and services," said Peg Hanna, Assistant Director for the DEP's Division of Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability. "Our new website explains the variety of approaches we are taking to accomplish that."
Compared with diesel vehicles, green vehicle fleets are two to five times more energy efficient, reduce dependence on petroleum, reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially, and reduce dirty diesel emissions in environmental justice communities. By shifting reliance on diesel engines to electric power trains, New Jersey can achieve its climate goals more quickly and efficiently.
Videos about the importance of electric vehicles in New Jersey and the Destination Electric program may be viewed at https://youtu.be/UoafhpmQ7NU and https://youtu.be/w-pHo8n0Itk.
More information about the Murphy Administration’s clean energy goals, as outlined in the Energy Master Plan, is available here.
To find a free National Drive Electric Week event near you (or check out a virtual event), visit https://driveelectricweek.org/
To learn more about the Destination Electric Program, visit https://driveelectricus.com/why-drive-electric/see-the-lifestyle/
For more about electric vehicles, charging, and New Jersey’s valuable incentives, visit www.drivegreen.nj.gov/
Follow the New Jersey State Park Service on Instagram @newjerseystateparksFollow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP