ABQ Journal op-ed: Latest EV mandate will drive up construction costs, drive down new housing supply

Fresh off her “victory” in pushing a vast increase in the number of electric vehicles sold in New Mexico through a board appointed by her, on a 3-2 vote of a 7-member board, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is pushing yet another regulation to force EVs on an unwilling public.

The governor’s latest plan is to mandate EV charging stations and equipment for newly built apartment buildings and other commercial real estate.

The “good” news is that while news reports back in September reported that up to 20% of all parking spaces would have to be outfitted with EV charging stations costing $18,000 per unit, the “final” revised proposal limits required EV spaces to 5% of all spaces, with another 15% being so-called “EV capable.”

This rule is going to be voted on by the Construction Industries Division at their Jan. 3 meeting. The Rio Grande Foundation is again asking people to weigh in on this issue at our KeepYourCarsNM.com website. Messages will now be sent to the CID.

This is another way to force the rest of us to pay for the governor’s pro-EV policy. Simply making parking spots “EV capable” will add at least $1,650 per parking space. Considering that the city of Albuquerque and other New Mexico cities have very prescriptive — and significant — requirements for parking, this unfunded mandate will add millions of dollars to the cost of new developments.

The costs, as they always are, will be borne by residents and business owners — and not just those in new construction projects subject to the mandate. Prices will needlessly go up and supply — especially of new apartments which are covered under this regulation — will go down.

Considering that housing prices have skyrocketed all over and several New Mexico cities are facing a housing “crisis,” this mandate couldn’t come at a worse time.

Raising the cost of apartments is a classic “regressive” tax that unduly targets low-income New Mexicans. If EVs are truly the “vehicles of the future,” then the free market will respond to demand for EV charging stations from those who own the vehicles and wish to have charging stations available wherever they go. That’s how we got a nationwide network of gas stations, not through government mandates.

Sadly, Gov. Lujan Grisham believes very strongly in “command-and-control” policies found in socialist nations and the old Soviet Union. Freedom and free markets are not her approach and we’re all poorer because of it.

An in-person hearing will be held on this issue on Wednesday, Jan. 3, at the Regulation and Licensing Department at 5500 San Antonio Drive NE, Albuquerque, in the Sandia conference room starting at 9:30 a.m.

As mentioned, the Rio Grande Foundation is collecting and submitting comments at KeepYourCarsNM.com. All written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Getting the Construction Industries Division to stand up to the governor on another new regulation won’t be easy, but we need the record to clearly show that most New Mexicans oppose the governor’s latest attack on our freedoms.

Paul Gessing is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation, a research and educational organization dedicated to limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility.

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2 Replies to “ABQ Journal op-ed: Latest EV mandate will drive up construction costs, drive down new housing supply”

  1. Addition of EV charging units in new apartments may arguably drive up some costs marginally. I don’t believe these units are necessarily going to be as expensive as the Rio Grande Foundation asserts. It may also attract tenants by providing an additional service other older buildings will not provide. We are moving into the future and many, including the RGF, should stop lamenting the past and circling the covered wagons.

  2. Oh yes, Dave, we are moving into the future and right into the Fascist type of government that Mussolini would be proud of. One of the Fascist common characteristics is: Corporatism: Fascists believe in taming capitalism by controlling labor and factory owners. Unions, strikes, and other labor actions are illegal. Although private property remains, the state controls the economy. Another couple of items on the Fascist manifesto: Absolute Power of the State: Fascist regimes have a strong centralized state, or national government. The fascist state seeks total control over all major parts of society. Individuals must give up their private needs and rights to serve the needs of the whole society as represented by the state.
    Rule by a Dictator: A single dictator runs the fascist state and makes all the important decisions. This leader often uses charisma, a magnetic personality, to gain the support of the people.
    Any of this sound vaguely familiar to you? It perfectly describes the present governor of NM, MLG. Have you ever heard the expression “Behind every Progressive, there is a Totalitarian screaming to get out”.
    The Rio Grande Foundation believes in capitalism, free market, and individual freedom as spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, and what is being mandated by our government is far from complying with the Constitution.

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