The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) celebrated National Drive Electric Week from Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 and encouraged residents to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by announcing Red Bank as the third New Jersey municipality to become a Destination Electric community and unveiling a new website touting the environmental and economic benefits of electric fleets.
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, according to a press release from the DEP.
These businesses display decals in their storefront to show their customers they are part of the program and support driving electric.
The DEP said Drive Electric Week sought to raise awareness about the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette was quoted in the press release saying, “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.”
“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,” Menna said.
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, according to the DEP.
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 4% percent of all vehicles on the road, but nearly 25% of transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions, according to the DEP.
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, according to the DEP.