New Mexico will enact new Clean Car Rules, Clean Truck Rules

A driver gets into his car at an electric vehicle charging station outside of a Tesla dealership. Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo

New Mexico will strengthen its vehicle emissions laws in hopes of meeting its climate goals, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Monday.

“These rules will speed up much-needed investment in New Mexico’s electric vehicle and clean hydrogen fueling infrastructure, create new job opportunities, and, most importantly, result in cleaner and healthier air for all New Mexicans to breathe,” Lujan Grisham said.

These rules, called Advanced Clean Cars and Advanced Clean Trucks, set statewide goals for selling new zero-emission cars and trucks in New Mexico.

The rules would require auto manufacturers to make cars that sharply cut smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter emissions (PM) from conventional engines. 

The rules will reduce more than 76 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions when fully implemented.

“These rules are a critical piece of the state’s overall strategy to reduce pollution from the transportation sector and will complement future legislative strategies,” the release said. “The rules only apply to automakers, not auto dealers or consumers. The rules do not prohibit the sale or ownership of new or used gasoline-powered vehicles.”

With these rules in place, New Mexico will be able to obtain more zero-emissions cars and trucks to sell from auto manufacturers, according to the release.

“These new rules will ensure that all New Mexicans have access to a greater number of new zero and low-emission vehicle models while hastening the transition away from polluting diesel and gasoline-powered cars and trucks,” Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. “We look forward to engaging with all New Mexicans on these proposed rules in the coming months.”

Lujan Grisham’s office touted many emissions reduction achievements in the release. Some include:

  • Awarding over $12 million in Volkswagen settlement funds reducing over 110,000 pounds of pollution annually.
  • Investing $38 million annually for five years to build out electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure, and New Mexico is ranked 16th in the nation for access to charging stations.
  • Applying for $1.25B in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish New Mexico as a clean hydrogen hub for power generation and transportation.
  • Adopting clean car rules in 2022.

The state plans to share more details about its rulemaking process soon.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.