State fleets in New Mexico have 12 years to transition to zero-emission vehicles, under a newly signed executive order by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She made the announcement during her Symposium on the Future of Transportation in New Mexico.
Gov. Lujan Grisham also said she intends to pursue tax credits for EVs during the upcoming legislative session to make "EVs more accessible and more affordable for all," according to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Big news for ⚡️ 🚘 today! We will pursue #EV tax credits in the upcoming legislative session to make EVs more accessible and more affordable for all. I also directed the state to “walk the walk” by transitioning to a zero-emission vehicle fleet by 2035. Pedal to the metal, NM! pic.twitter.com/aFDeYfdhfX— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) October 16, 2023
Diving Into the Executive Order
In the executive order signed on Oct. 16 that was sent to Government Fleet, Gov. Lujan Grisham cited the GAO's ZEV executive order for federal fleets to define ZEVs. As part of this order, they are defined as:
- Battery-electric vehicles.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
- Fuel cell electric vehicles.
It's important to list what is and is not included, because some consider hybrid electric vehicles to be ZEVs, while others do not. The CARB Advanced Clean Fleets rule also leaves out HEVs.
The order noted that because New Mexico is a rural state where many residents depend on cars and trucks for transportation, tackling emissions is a challenge.
It also stated that tackling climate change is important because, "the lands and environment of our state do not belong to us, but are part of a trust that we are obligated to protect, preserve, and ensure that they remain beautiful and whole for our children, their children, and every generation to follow."
The executive order cited a technical report by the National Renewable Energy Lab showing that ZEVs can reach total-cost-of-driving parity with conventional diesel vehicles by 2035 for all medium- and heavy-duty vehicle classes, with ZEV sales potentially reaching 42% of those trucks by 2030, reflecting lower combined vehicle purchase and operating costs, potentially reducing CO2 emissions levels in 2045 by nearly 70% from 2019 levels.
Implementing the Executive Order with Measurable Actions
The order recognized that the transition of the state's fleet to ZEVs will require detailed infrastructure planning to include accessible charging, development of procurement standards and strategies, employee education and training, and optimization of vehicle types purchased and deployed.
The order directs departments to purchase zero-emission vehicles for all new acquisitions where one or more options are available.
Exceptions to the order include law enforcement fleets, fire apparatus, construction vehicles, and maintenance vehicles where no equivalent ZEV is available or when a ZEV would be "substantially less effective for the intended use."
The order directs the New Mexico General Services Department and New Mexico Department of Transportation to institute state fleet purchase requirements as soon as "practicable that are measurable, enforceable, and include benchmarking and progress reporting."
All state agencies that are not exempt were directed to take the following steps to achieve ZEV fleets by 2035:
- Work with the Transportation Services Division (TSD) to propose targets, including annual progress targets, where applicable, to meet the order's goals and requirements for ZEV acquisition and charging equipment deployment.
- Issue or revise existing agency policies, directives, and guidance, as appropriate, including policies that impact employee training.
- Fleets with 10 or more vehicles should work annually with TSD to develop and submit a data-driven, strategic plan that includes proposed annual ZEV acquisition and charging equipment deployment targets, to the Office of the Governor
- Work with GSD to include the installation of Level 2 or Level 3 charging stations in the design and construction of any new facilities.