Advanced Clean Cars and Trucks in New Mexico Click to thank the governor and Environmental Improvement Board!


On Nov. 16, New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board adopted Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus standards that will bring profound health, economic and climate benefits to New Mexico.

The state’s proposal requires automakers to make increasing percentages of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles available to New Mexicans, topping out at 82% of new cars delivered to New Mexico in 2032. Automakers get early-action credits for EVs they sell before the standards go into effect starting with the 2027 model year. Clean Trucks would require an increasing percentage of medium- and heavy-duty trucks be electric. Heavy-Duty Low-NOx Omnibus, a third standard, reduces smog-forming pollution from new diesel-fueled trucks.

Because automakers prioritize Clean Cars states for EV availability, shoppers often have a hard time finding electric vehicles on New Mexico lots and often have to go out of state if they want an EV. These standards will provide much more choice. And yes, of course you can keep your gas car for as long as you like, and buy a new one if you really want, even at the peak of the proposed requirements.

EVs save money and lives

Recent studies find that Clean Cars standards would provide New Mexico up to $44 billion in economic benefits, including public health and climate improvements, savings to drivers, and utility  savings — by  fully adopting the standards through 2035.

These rules would reduce climate pollution by hundreds of millions of metric tons by 2050, about the same amount as the total pollution New Mexico produced in 2018, making these among the most effective climate policies New Mexico could adopt.

A recent analysis shows that New Mexicans could receive up to $44 billion in public health and climate benefits just from adopting Clean Cars II through 2035. Clean Cars and Trucks together would:

  • Avoid 136 premature deaths by 2050 and prevent 76,000 respiratory incidents from breathing polluted air;
  • Create nearly 1,000 additional jobs, many in well-paying positions in electrical-component manufacturing  and construction;
  • Save individual EV owners between $14,000 and $16,800 during the life of the vehicle and deliver more than $30 billion in total savings for drivers through 2050.

Other cost benefits of electric cars and trucks:

  • Federal $7,500 tax credits are available for selected new EVs and $4,000 credits for used cars. These will be transferable to dealers so they can be taken off your purchase price.
  • New Mexico utilities now offer rebates of up to $2,500 for home EV chargers and installation — often enough to cover the entire cost.
  • Plug-in hybrids are included in the Clean Cars II standards. These cars use battery charge for the first 30 to 50 miles and then switch to gas. Most hybrid drivers rarely have to buy gas because their daily driving doesn’t exceed 30 miles.
  • Because EVs remain parked most of the time, they are a highly flexible resource. Charging vehicles when the grid is underutilized allows utilities to spread their fixed costs and puts downward pressure on rates, saving the average New Mexico household up to $24 on electricity annually.
  • EV drivers contribute an estimated $806 million more to the economy than associated costs. Another study predicts similar benefits to New Mexico. These vehicles will likely be harder to purchase unless Clean Cars standards are adopted.
  • Electric vehicles are expected to reach upfront cost parity by model year 2027, when this rule is implemented, and already many EVs cost less upfront than gas cars, even without incentives. EVs benefit consumers on Day 1 in most cases. Low-income customers spend a larger portion of their income on fuel, so this will have disproportionate benefit for low-income customers.

Improving Equity

Reducing vehicle pollution from trucks will protect public health, particularly in low-income, Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities that live closest to transportation routes in New Mexico. The Advanced Clean Trucks standard will hold trucking companies accountable for the pollution impacting New Mexicans’ health.

  • A recent report analyzing the projecting total cost of ownership in 2027 for several medium- and heavy-duty market segments (including transit and school buses, shuttles, delivery vehicles and refuse haulers) shows that EVs are better investments than their fossil-fuel counterparts.
  • By 2027, the purchase price alone will make many categories of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (including transit and school buses; delivery vans and trucks, and refuse haulers) less expensive than their fossil-fuel counterparts.
Still have questions? Check out this great Q&A. 

Related: View this issue on the National Sierra Club page.

Advanced Clean Cars and Trucks in New Mexico
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