News Release

Ten years on, new report ranks state progress on clean energy benchmarks -- NJ ranks in the top 10 for solar, EVs & storage

For Immediate Release

Trenton - New Jersey ranks seventh in the nation for total electric vehicle sales, according to a new analysis released today by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. The project, Renewables on the Rise 2020, documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each state over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. New Jersey has seen a 9.9-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun, ranking 8th in the nation, and a 1.7-fold increase in wind power production since 2010. New Jersey ranks 6th for growth in battery storage capacity since 2010.

“A decade ago, tens or hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles driving on New Jersey roads may have seemed like a wild fantasy, but the growth of electric vehicle sales are proving this dream is on its way to becoming a reality,” said Hayley Berliner, Clean Energy Associate at Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. “The Murphy administration has proven its commitment to electrifying transportation, but it cannot stop now, as we need to work to get more EVs on the road.”

Despite ranking seventh for electric vehicle sales with 30,549 through June of 2019, New Jersey ranks only nineteenth for publicly accessible charging stations. With one of the highest population densities in the country, New Jersey has only one public charging station for every 21,000 people. Innovative policies, combined with technological advances and declining costs have played a key role in driving adoption of electric vehicles, but the charging stations have not followed, which was a key motivation that led to the passage of the omnibus EV bill this January, which outlined goals for a state-wide network of charging stations on major roadways and in downtowns. 

“Despite the need for rapid transitions to EVs, it's not happening fast enough. We need to push forward and accelerate the trend while ensuring the right policies are in place to encourage good, family sustaining jobs. If you want people to buy EVs, you have to ensure they can afford it. Our future depends on it,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director, NJ Work Environment Council

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the study also shows the rapid gains achieved overall nationally. In 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. 

“The clean energy economy has continued to progress in New Jersey and even where New Jersey is lagging behind, we are poised to be a national leader on offshore wind and finally bump up energy efficiency programs. The threat of climate change means we need to build on the landmark EV bill from this January to rapidly expand vehicle electrification and adoption in the state, including expanding an EV charging network, ” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. “We have the goals and policies in place to make us a national leader on electric vehicles, but we still have to make it happen.” 

“What is challenging in this conversation is that despite how much has happened in the EV space over the last several years, and a lot has happened, we simply will not get to where we need to be without changing the way we work,” said Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC.  “It can’t be business as usual.  Meeting the moment required a new approach of working with all stakeholders coupled with a reform of processes and timelines to deliver rapid results.  This will not be easy. State governments are not typically structured to deliver rapid results.  But these are not typical times.”

Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center is hosting a webinar on Monday, October 26th at 12 p.m. on electric vehicle adoption in New Jersey. Specifically, the webinar will explore how the state will reach its goal of 330,000 EVs by 2025 and move towards vehicle electrification with 100% of car sales being electric by 2035. Peg Hanna, Head of Mobile Sources at NJDEP and Cathleen Lewis, Outreach Coordinator at NJBPU will be two of our speakers. Join us here.

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Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. For more information, visit www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org