Now is the time for clean vehicles in New Mexico

New Mexico could see public health and economic benefits if the state enacts three clean vehicle rules this year: the Advanced Clean Truck Rule, the Heavy-Duty NOx Omnibus Rules, and the Advanced Clean Cars II Rule.

A new, independent analysis shows clean truck rules will deliver a total of $3.3 billion in net societal benefits for New Mexico. The two truck rules, the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) rules, would reduce toxic air pollution, protect public health and boost the economy. Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II), considered together, will only increase these benefits for New Mexico.

Analysis by the Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Group shows that the rules will work together to protect New Mexicans from harmful air pollution, save $598 million in public health costs by 2050 and reduce hospital visits, missed work days and even premature deaths to reduce.

The HDO regulation will reduce air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) by 90 percent by 2027 by ensuring that new diesel truck engines are tested and updated with the latest pollution control technologies. The ACT and ACC II will increase manufacturers’ sales requirements for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), reduce tailpipe air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the ACT regulation alone would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks by more than 45 percent compared to 2022 levels.

The rules will also boost New Mexico’s economy, boosting GDP by $84 million by 2035, supporting hundreds of high-paying jobs and attracting local infrastructure investment. Fleets and consumers save money by filling up with cheaper electricity.

An analysis of the benefits of the ACC II regime for New Mexico is forthcoming. In Colorado, a similar analysis found that the cumulative net benefits from ACC II will exceed $7.6 billion by 2050, saving customers money on vehicles and utility bills and protecting the state from the cost of greenhouse gas emissions.

New Mexico should enact clean vehicle rules to eliminate transportation-related air pollution and emissions while boosting the market for zero-emission cars and trucks. Together, these three rules would pave the way for a cleaner, healthier future for all New Mexicans.

Take Action: Tell the state you support clean car and truck standards in 2023.

protection of public health

Trucks have an outsized impact on air pollution. Despite representing only 10 percent of the vehicles on New Mexico’s roads, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contribute 64 percent of NOx pollution, 58 percent of PM pollution, and 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Figure 1: ERM, New Mexico Clean Trucks Program, 2023.

Zero-emission vehicles can protect New Mexicans from the serious health effects of air pollution, including asthma, lung infections, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, reproductive harm and even premature death. The report estimates that by 2050, the ACT and HDO regulations would prevent 28,065 air pollution-related minor health cases, 46 hospital visits and 51 premature deaths. Advanced Clean Cars II will amplify these life-saving benefits.

Additionally, New Mexico communities of color and low-income are more likely to live near major truck routes, ports or warehouses, where they experience significantly higher levels of air pollution than white or more affluent residents. Although new emission standards for vehicles do not guarantee emission reductions in frontline communities, these regulations, coupled with complementary targeted measures, can help reduce this unequal burden.

Economical advantages

By adopting the ACT and HDO rules, New Mexico could realize a cumulative net societal benefit of $3.3 billion. By 2050, the rules for clean trucks will:

  • Save $598 million in public health costs
  • Save fleet owners $255 million in reduced fuel and maintenance costs
  • Save $1.8 million in the avoided social cost of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing transportation emissions by 45 percent

The macroeconomic benefits don’t end there. The report estimates that enacting clean truck rules could create over 2,300 new jobs by 2045 — with an average annual salary of $93,768 — including charging infrastructure builders, electrical component manufacturers and engineers. New Mexico’s GDP will then increase by $84 million by 2035.

Damage to health from air pollution is expensive. By 2050, clean truck rules would contribute to $598 million in health benefits statewide, resulting in savings in your wallet.

Small businesses and fleet owners save $56,500 over the lifetime of a clean truck, and clean car owners can save $10,000 due to reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

Figure 2: ERM, New Mexico Clean Trucks Program, 2023.

Clean vehicles promise fuel price stability as shown in Figure 3 below. Car owners often come to the pump to see dramatically different prices due to geopolitical or extreme weather events. Not only do these prices exceed the cost of filling up with electricity, they also make household finances a challenge, especially for families who spend a large part of their income on transport or energy costs.

petrol and electricity prices.

Clean vehicles are now feasible

Six other states have already adopted the Advanced Clean Cars II and Clean Truck rules, and we expect more states to adopt the rules in 2023. There are already hundreds of models of zero-emission cars and trucks, and more are being added every month. New Mexico needs the Clean Vehicle Rules to ensure a variety of high-quality clean vehicle models are brought into the state.

There are many types of funding to support the transition to ZEVs. New Mexicans are eligible for grants for ZEV trucks and $38 million for charging infrastructure, federal tax credits of up to $40,000 of the purchase price of a zero-emission truck and $7,500 for a zero-emission car, and utility rebates for new chargers.

New Mexico should now implement clean vehicle rules

New Mexico can and must lead the way in promoting zero-emission vehicles in order to meet government emissions reduction goals. The ACT, ACC II and HDO regulations will revitalize the market for zero-emission cars and trucks, protect public health, create jobs and lead to economic growth. Adopting these rules would put New Mexico transportation on a cleaner, healthier, and fairer path.

New Mexico must begin the rulemaking process in 2023 or risk missing out on the myriad benefits to local communities and the state as a whole. With the rules imposing an expedited sales requirement, the 2023 rollout gives manufacturers and dealers time to ramp up sales of vehicles currently going to other states — and will give New Mexicans more clean vehicle options sooner. If we don’t act this year, New Mexico will miss out on years of benefits because the standard doesn’t go into effect until the 2028 model year. We cannot afford to slow down New Mexico’s transition to clean, advanced technology and tangible benefits for all residents.

Take action and tell New Mexico that now is the time for clean vehicle rules.

By Claire Lang-Ree, courtesy of NRDC.




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