Last month, the New Mexico Environment Department announced that the state’s Environmental Improvement Board and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board adopted three advanced clean vehicle standards, a crucial step toward meeting the state’s climate and air quality goals.
Beginning in 2026, the new standards will require that 43% of new passenger cars, 43% of new light-duty trucks, and 15% of new commercial heavy-duty trucks shipped to New Mexico be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The proportion of ZEVs to be sold in New Mexico steadily increases each year thereafter, although the rules provide manufacturers with some flexibility in how to reach those goals, such as through early delivery of qualifying vehicles or the purchase of credits from other auto manufacturers who produce a surplus.
According to the state, the increased presence of ZEVs will not only expand consumer choice and provide an estimated $300M in fuel and car maintenance savings, but is expected to provide significant health benefits. Transportation is currently the second largest source of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the state, accounting for 14% of GHG emissions, a known trigger of asthma attacks, impaired lung functioning, and increased risk of heart disease. However, through the implementation of new vehicle rules, carbon dioxide emissions and particulate matter are predicted to diminish by 62% and 43% respectively.