Report: Strong Clean Vehicle Standards Can Deliver $44 Billion in Health, Economic, & Climate Benefits to New Mexicans 

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Report: Strong Clean Vehicle Standards Can Deliver $44 Billion in Health, Economic and Climate Benefits to New Mexicans

SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced bold action which will give New Mexicans more electric car and truck options in the coming years, and a new report shows the state can deliver the most health, jobs, and energy savings benefits to New Mexicans by following the trend of fully adopting its planned-for new clean car standards through 2035.

Environmental, climate, and business groups welcome the governor’s pledge to adopt what are known as Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) standards this year. The New Mexico Advanced Clean Cars II Program report released today shows that New Mexicans could receive up to $44 billion in benefits through 2050 from public health and climate improvements, savings to drivers of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), and utility customer savings — by not exiting early and fully adopting the standards through 2035.

“New Mexicans are on the road to breathe cleaner air, secure new jobs and be able to buy cleaner cars and trucks—if the state fully adopts clean cars and trucks standards through 2035,” said Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Pushing the pedal down now will deliver the most benefits to New Mexicans from improved public health, savings for clean vehicle owners, less polluted air, and reduced impacts from climate change. Let’s floor it, New Mexico.”

These standards will boost sales of zero-emission vehicles in New Mexico and build on the Clean Car Rule the state adopted last year to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and ozone-and smog-causing pollutants from new passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs.

California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington already have enacted the full Advanced Clean Car II standards. New Mexico and five other states are working on the standards but have not yet finalized them.

ERM prepared the report on ACC II for Western Resource Advocates (WRA), NRDC, and the Sierra Club. The report outlines three scenarios for how manufacturers might meet requirements if New Mexico adopts the Advanced Clean Cars II program through 2035. The report finds that by 2050 the program delivers in New Mexico:

  • Cumulative net societal benefits (the sum of public health and climate benefits, net cost savings for vehicle owners, and net utility costs from increased electricity demand for electric vehicle charging) of up to $44 billion.
  • 85 to 93 avoided premature deaths, 80 to 86 avoided hospital visits and 48,291 to 52,482 avoided minor cases from breathing polluted air, for a total of $1 billion to $1.1 billion in health benefits.
  • Reductions of up to 116 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 38,000 metric tons of NOx, and 3,300 metric tons of particulate matter.
  • Creation of up to 940 jobs, many in well-paying positions in electrical component manufacturing and construction of charging infrastructure.
  • Lifetime savings for individual owners of zero-emissions vehicles of between $14,000 and $16,800, depending on the year the vehicle is purchased, and vehicle miles traveled, adding up to more than $30 billion in total savings for drivers through 2050.
  • Up to $24 in annual electricity bill savings for the average New Mexico household, and up to $185 annual savings for the average commercial customer, regardless of whether they drive an electric vehicle, or not.

“Gov. Lujan Grisham’s commitment to strong clean vehicle standards is a significant step towards a sustainable future,” said Aaron Kressig, transportation electrification manager with WRA. “The release of this report reinforces the transformative benefits that can be achieved by adopting the full Advanced Clean Cars II standards through 2035. These standards not only drive the transition to zero-emission vehicles but also bring substantial public health improvements, job creation, and cost savings for vehicle owners and utility customers. It is imperative that we embrace this opportunity to curb climate pollution, enhance air quality, and prioritize the well-being of communities across the state.”

“Car and truck pollution is bad for communities that live along roadways and is the second biggest source of climate emissions in New Mexico. We’re grateful to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary Kenney for acting to adopt this program to put cleaner cars on roads to protect our kids and families,” said Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman.

The Advanced Clean Cars II program will require vehicle manufacturers to increase sales of light-duty zero-emission vehicles in New Mexico, including full battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. If it is extended through model year 2035, it could require 100 percent ZEV sales by 2035.

In New Mexico, there are 1.5 million light-duty vehicles — vehicles weighing under 8,000 pounds including passenger cars, SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks — that annually travel more than 67 billion miles and burn more than 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline, the report shows.

Emissions from internal combustion engines contribute to air pollution and climate change. Because the nation’s light-duty fleet is projected to grow 59 percent by 2050, the problem will grow much worse, so we must shift now to clean zero-emissions vehicles.

Nationally, light-duty vehicles account for about 90 percent of all on-road vehicle miles traveled and emit about 67 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions annually from the on-road vehicle fleet. Light-duty vehicles also account for 33 percent of the nitrogen oxide and 30 percent of the particulate matter emitted by on-road vehicles.

Together, these pollutants worsen air quality and harm public health in many urban areas, including in low-income and communities of color often disproportionately affected by emissions from nearby transportation infrastructure.

The New Mexico Advanced Clean Cars II Program report is here.

A blog co-authored by NRDC, WRA, and the Sierra Club, is here

Additional comments from supporters of the clean car standards follow:

“The suffering we already see around us from climate change begs us to continue to take ethical and moral responsibility to address ways to stop the most harm in our sacred life community. Adopting strong clean car rules is another important step to care for our communities and life in Our Common Home,” said Joan Brown, Executive Director, New Mexico & El Paso Interfaith Power and Light.

“New Mexico getting to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles will improve the health of its people and boost the economy of its businesses. Adopting Advanced Clean Cars II shows clean transportation companies that the state is open for business investments and ready to create a strong, clean workforce,” said Orville Thomas, State Policy Director for CALSTART.

“Switching to electric vehicles is one of the best things New Mexicans can do to save money and reduce pollution,” said Tammy Fiebelkorn, New Mexico Representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “Let’s charge ahead.”

“The adoption of Advanced Clean Cars II rules will be a windfall for New Mexicans who want to see the state meet its climate goals, avoid shouldering increasing costs from climate-related disasters, live in an overall healthier environment, and increase economic opportunity in the cleantech sector,” said Susan Nedell, E2 Mountain West Advocate.

“We welcome the swift action taken by Governor Lujan Grisham’s administration in filing the ACCII and ACT petition,” said Samantha Kao, climate & energy advocate for Conservation Voters New Mexico. “Addressing climate pollution from the transportation sector is directly tied to other concerns of frontline communities: air quality and the health of their family and community, jobs beyond the oil & gas sector, fires and drought, and the stranglehold of oil and gas on the New Mexico economy. Adopting the full clean cars and trucks rules is an important part of the just transition that will take New Mexico down the road to a future that works for all New Mexicans.”

“Advanced Clean Cars II rules mean New Mexico consumers will be able to test drive a greater variety of electric cars and trucks and keep their dollars in state when they purchase EVs,” said Tom Solomon, Co-Coordinator of 350 New Mexico.

Article from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. 

 


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