NM Lawmakers Discuss Possible New Zero-Carbon Emission Vehicle Rules
The State of New Mexico is proposing rules that would require auto manufacturers to deliver 43% of new vehicles for sale to be zero emissions by 2027 moving up yearly to 82% by 2032.
A discussion on the proposed rules were part of a meeting held at Roundhouse on Monday of the Water and Natural Resources Committee that focused on new proposed tax credits in New Mexico to help small businesses and poorer individuals purchase electric vehicles.
State Environmental Protection Division Director Michelle Miano told lawmakers there is some flexibility in the rule for auto manufacturers and they can meet the 43% requirement in ways other than just EVs.
“One of the biggest ways that they can meet this requirement is by providing a certain percentage of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” she said. “Up to a certain point, hybrid vehicles count.”
But some auto sellers and Republican and rural lawmakers say those numbers can’t be reached and there still isn’t enough demand for EVs to make it practical.
Autodealer Carlos Garcia told the committee he and his family recognize that zero carbon vehicles are the future and dealerships have spent millions of dollars preparing for the transition.
But he says the mandate is too much, too fast for New Mexico.
“Even with all the attention on Evs in New Mexico, the demand on Evs is a whopping four and a half percent. There is no way to get that to 43% by 2027,” he said. “If you look at the auto manufacturers and the way that they do business, California, Texas and Florida are their huge markets. What we sell as auto dealers in New Mexico is about 60-thousand new cars a year.”
Lawmakers jumped in on both sides of the proposal. Republican Rep. Rod Montoya says if the state goes ahead with the new rules there needs to be some major exemptions so it applies where he says an EV works and not in rural areas or where large hauls are required that the electric vehicles can’t handle.
Democratic Rep. Tara Lujan says there needs to be more of an education provided to New Mexicans so they can learn the economic benefits of EVs to consumers.