Jersey City officials unveiled electric garbage trucks at the Department of Public Works facility as part of their latest efforts in going green.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“Today is a good day in Jersey City as we’re taking another step as one of the national leaders on electrifying our fleet. We have five new garbage trucks that are all electric-powered. First in New Jersey doing this,” Fulop said today.
“It speaks to the overall commitment we have about providing more access to electric vehicles here in Jersey City.”
The mayor, the only declared Democratic candidate for governor in 2025 at the moment, also noted hey had installed 27 electric charging stations throughout the city since he took office.
They plan to extend that “to make sure every person in Jersey City has access to charge their electric vehicle. We want to encourage people to move in this direction.”
“We’re dedicating these vehicles to the most used resource in the city,” Business Administrator John Metro added, continuing that they would be in heavy usage by many city employees.
“We’ve also had a rideshare program within our departments. We are now doing a ride share where you can schedule a vehicle online. The goal is to transition those vehicles into electric vehicles as well,” Metro explained.
Department of Infrastructure Director Barkha Patel said the an effort to have more electric city vehicles has been underway since 2017 and has finally come to fruition recently.
“When we 1st started the effort in Jersey City about six years ago to start electrifying the city’s fleet and adding more charging infrastructure, we didn’t know how much we could expand the scope of this work,” she said.
Additionally, Patel stated it furthers their goal of not only having more electric municipal vehicles, but encouraging more electric car ownership in the city as well.
“As we’re working on this effort, we’re also thinking about multi-modal charging infrastructure, which includes um micro-transit, bicycles, etc., so that we’re not having a car-only focus,” Patel said.
“It’s great to see the state has recognized our efforts under the mayor for this work. We’ve been getting more grants for this work in the past couple of years than we have ever before.”
“This has just been an extraordinary commitment … We’re in lockstep and very proud of what the admin has done,” Sustainable JC leader Deb Italiano said.
She also noted that they share goal of seeking to lower transportation emissions by 30 percent in Jersey City.
Additionally, Environment NJ Director Doug O’Malley noted their commitment to addressing climate change and Fulop signing a pledge to reduce pollution.
“Hudson County remains one of the most polluted counties in the state for air pollution. There are close to 100,000 residents in Hudson County alone that suffer from asthma,” he noted.
O’Malley explained that former Gov. Chris Christie (R) withdrew New Jersey from the Greenhouse Gas Initiative, though his successor, Phil Murphy (D) had the state rejoin.
“Those dollars are helping to fund these programs. Jersey City has been at the front lines of working to apply for dollars to electric school buses, to electricity garbage trucks, to electricity its municipal fleet,” he declared.
O’Malley said an e-bike could also be charged. He noted it’s Earth Day week, which is a time for action on the environment.
Furthermore, DPW Director Greg Kierce assured residents that the electric vehicles are just as reliable as the standard ones.
“They’ve been very successful. We’ve had no mechanical issues. They’re capable of doing just what the carbon-type vehicles do,” he stated, noting a quarter of the garbage and recycling trucks are electric.
“As we replace the fleet moving forward, we’ll replace the fleet primarily with electrical vehicles.”
Fulop said that while he did not have the exact figures of the savings to the city, though he was confident it wouldn’t increase the city’s debt.
“We’re one of the most densely populated areas in the entire country. It is very early to know what the budget impact is overall, We think we’re doing the right thing from an environment standpoint and the greater good.”
The city used a $2 million NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) grant to replace high-polluting diesel trucks. Hoboken announced receiving a $1.2 million DEP grant for the same reason in August.
With the deployment of electric garbage trucks, Jersey City is saving an average of 25 gallons of diesel per truck daily, according to city spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione.
On a related note, Jersey City was recently awarded a $1 million DEP grant to expand from 49 to 89 EV chargers at optimal locations throughout the community to promote more electric car use.
The added chargers will also enhance the city’s efforts to grow Via Jersey City, New Jersey’s first on-demand, city-run rideshare program, from 10 percent to 100 percent electric.