At behest of Gov. Lujan Grisham, unelected New Mexico board adopts California’s “Clean Car Standard”

Last week New Mexico’s unelected Environmental Improvement Board chose to join the list of states that have adopted California’s so-called “Clean Car Rules” Interestingly, because California sets the rules, these rules could be changed whenver California regulators decide to, and they may be poised to do just that.

California’s (and New Mexico’s)  standards will require roughly 7% of new cars sold to be zero emission in 2025. In the 3rd quarter of 2021 zero emission vehicles amounted to just 2.29% of new vehicle sales in New Mexico. So, those sales will need to just more than triple from Q3 of 2021 to 2025.

That means that dealers will either cross-subsidize ZEV’s by raising prices on other vehicles or they will look to the State to subsidize sales of the “chosen” vehicles.

Aside from this proposal not coming through the democratically-elected Legislature, California calls the shots when it comes to changes to the “standard” which will also impact New Mexico. CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an  executive order ordering the end the sale of gas-powered cars in California by 2035. California’s own unelected board is expected to hold a vote on final adoption of that in August.

If California enacts this rule, 35% of new cars, SUVs and small pickups sold in California (and thus New Mexico) must be zero-emission starting with 2026 models, then increasing yearly, reaching 51% of all new car sales in 2028, 68% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. Of those, 20% can be plug-in hybrids.

Not including New Mexico, here is a list of states that have chosen to follow California’s rule.