Regulators in New Mexico Bring Clean Car Rules
As part of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's effort to combat climate change, New Mexico officials have adopted stringent motor vehicle emissions rules.
Following a combined public hearing with air quality regulators who control the Albuquerque metro area, New Mexico's most populated region, the state Environmental Improvement Board adopted the rule recently.
The new rule will take effect on July 1st, following in the footsteps of California. Beginning with the 2026 model year, vehicles, trucks, and SUVs must emit less pollution.
New Mexico is pushing for the sale of more electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, as more solar and battery storage facilities come online to replace coal-fired power plants, utility officials are still working on plans to ensure they have enough capacity to satisfy future electricity demands.
Despite opposition from some interest groups, state officials claim the new clean car mandate is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 130,000 tonnes and ozone-forming pollution by over 1,700 tonnes by 2050.
Transportation emits the most greenhouse gases in the United States, and it is one of the top contributors in New Mexico.
Environmentalists applauded the rule, claiming that it will increase the number of electric vehicles on the market in New Mexico. They also predict that over the next three decades, charging automobiles would save drivers money on gas.
The rule is part of the state's and Albuquerque's respective ozone reduction plans. Seven counties, including Bernalillo County, are approaching dangerous ground-level ozone levels, which cause respiratory diseases and heart attacks.
Some auto dealers argue that they should not be required to stock a set number of electric vehicles, while others worry that electric vehicles will put rural residents out of business.
Existing vehicles, used vehicles for sale, farm equipment or other off-road vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles such as big trucks will not be affected.
Source: AP News