Alternative Fuel Vehicles
National attention to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) has grown dramatically in recent years, largely because of their potential health, environmental and economic benefits. Efforts to encourage the increased use of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs), in particular electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles, are taking place at the national, state, and local level. As discussed on this page, the NJTPA has developed several publications that address what AFVs are, their benefits to the region, efforts taking place in New Jersey to promote them and how to develop a plan for their use.
In 2017, the NJTPA partnered with three pilot municipalities, Montclair, Secaucus and Woodbridge to develop local readiness plans to facilitate the use of electric and natural gas vehicles in those communities. The reports for this effort are the following:
● Montclair Readiness Plan
● Secaucus Readiness Plan
● Woodbridge Readiness Plan
● Final Report
The plans consider how municipal regulations and infrastructure can be improved to advance the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including a review of local zoning and land use ordinances, permitting requirements and potential locations for infrastructure. The NJTPA also developed a Readiness Guidebook to help communities in the NJTPA’s 13-county region that are interested in developing local readiness plans. The guidebook describes the variety of alternative fuel vehicle options for both consumers and fleet operators, highlights what it takes to become AFV ready and offers recommended actions and further resources. Click here to download a brochure about the guidebook.
AFVs can reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on oil. In both the passenger and freight areas, AFVs offer reduced fuel costs, savings on maintenance, attractive new technology, support of domestic industries, and promotion of environmental sustainability.
- AFVs are dedicated, flexible fuel, or dual-fuel vehicles designed to operate on at least one alternative fuel.
- These vehicles operate on an electric charge or can run on a variety of fuels, including compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid natural gas (LNG), ethanol, biodiesel, propane and hydrogen amongst others.
ADVANCING ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES IN NEW JERSEY
As of December 2017, there were approximately 756,000 all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the United States. Within the NJTPA region, 13,194 of these vehicles had been purchased, with a high proportion located in Bergen, Essex, Monmouth and Morris counties. There are at least 196 EV charging stations within the NJTPA region.
In recent years, New Jersey has taken steps to encourage the increased use of AFVs, in particular EVs and NGVs. This includes:
- Providing a sales tax exemption for battery-powered or fuel cell-powered zero emission vehicles.
- Providing rebates for workplace EV charging infrastructure.
- Including a goal in the State Energy Plan to increase the number of natural gas truck, bus and vehicle engines.
- Signing a measure to allow the sale of Tesla and other zero-emission cars in the state.
- Approving a pilot program to build NGV fueling stations.
- Providing grants for commercial NGVs in specific counties.
In 2015, prior to developing the pilot municipal readiness plans and guidebook, NJTPA developed a publication as a summary of AFVs and the work of the MPO to promote AFV readiness in the region. Highlights include:
NJTPA’s efforts to facilitate the marketplace for AFV adoption
Description, benefits and challenges of fuels including electric, natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel, propane, and hydrogen
Discussion of AFVs in the region and the state
NJTPA and stakeholders’ steps in readying the region for greater AFV usage