New report: New Jersey among national leaders in EV sales and solar energy

Media Contacts
Hayley Berliner

Decade-long analysis details dramatic clean energy growth in New Jersey and nation

Trenton – New Jersey ranks sixth in the nation for electric vehicle sales since 2011, according to a new report released today by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. Renewables on the Rise 2021: The rapid growth of renewables, electric vehicles and other building blocks of a clean energy future documents the growth of six key clean energy technologies across the U.S. over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and heat pumps. New Jersey has seen a 196 fold increase in electric vehicles sold, with 49,175 EVs on the road in 2020, up from just 251 in 2011. This analysis comes on the heels of the passage of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package passed by the U.S. Congress this weekend, which includes $7.5 billion nationally for EV chargers. 

“It’s amazing the difference a decade can make,” said Hayley Berliner, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. “We are seeing electric vehicle sales take off in the last few years because of state policies, and this growth should be a prelude to the exponential growth in the EV market in coming years.” 

Beyond top-ranking growth in electric vehicles, New Jersey also ranks eighth in the nation for total solar energy production. Strong and supportive state policies, combined with improving solar technologies and falling prices, have played a key role in driving the boom in solar, according to the report.

“Clean renewable energy is on the rise across the country,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of NJ Work Environment Council. “Here in New Jersey, we are on the precipice of a significant shift to renewable energy as offshore wind projects continue to move forward and come online in the next few years. We can’t lose sight of the importance of making New Jersey an offshore wind hub that helps combat climate change and brings thousands of good paying jobs from building to manufacturing.”

“As a Legislator, I am glad to see the growth of clean energy technologies in New Jersey. Electrifying transit and buses, fighting for environmental justice and improving New Jersey’s energy infrastructure via the development of resilient, local microgrids are ways that the state can continue to expand clean energy in the Garden State,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Princeton). “The recommendations in this report can accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy in NJ and nationally at a time when we must aggressively move forward to combat the climate crisis.”

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the research also details the rapid gains achieved nationally over the past decade. According to the report, America produced almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind in 2020 as in 2011. Additionally, if wind, solar and geothermal generation continue growing at the same 15% annual rate, renewables could meet the nation’s electricity needs by 2035. 

“New Jersey has made great strides to move towards a clean energy future and the state can continue to do better in order to hit it’s clean energy goals,” said Rachel Vresilovic, Clean Energy Associate with NJPIRG. “Building electrification can help in the state’s efforts to hit these goals and transition away from fossil fuels, while also saving consumers money on energy bills and improving public health by cutting harmful emissions.”

“It is well understood that we need to hit the statutory goal of 330,000 electric vehicles registered by 2025 to have any hope of meeting carbon emissions reduction goals,” said Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC-NJ. “What is not as appreciated but just as important is the focus and discipline needed on the programs that deliver on this goal. Example one: our nation leading electric vehicle rebate program that is not properly funded to hit these goals.  We need to do better.”

“Millions of Americans and New Jerseyans are already reaping the benefits of the dramatic clean energy progress we’ve made so far,” Berliner said. “But, we’ll need to do even more in order to transform the vision of 100% clean and renewable energy for New Jersey into a reality. We need to supercharge the rollout of electric vehicle chargers across the state and expand funding for the EV rebate, which has helped accelerate EV sales so quickly that it has been a victim of its own success.”


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