Auto dealers weigh in on NM’s proposed clean car rules

Business

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is looking to adopt clean car rules by 2022 but the state is asking for input from the public, people in the auto industry, and environmentalists. The state said having more clean cars on our roads will be better for our environment but an auto dealer worries the state isn’t ready for this proposal.

According to the New Mexico Environment Department, emissions from cars are the second largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases, which is harsh on our environment, “So that’s a key element of getting these in place,” said the NMED’s Spokesperson, Maddy Hayden.

To combat this, the state is looking to adopt clean car rules which would require car dealers to sell a certain number of low emission and zero-emission cars. “That applies to new vehicles only and we also want people to know that this certainly does not require anyone to give up their existing vehicle,” said Hayden.

To adopt these clean car rules, the state is looking for input. “We want to get a diverse representation of viewpoints, of questions, concerns about clean car standards and what they mean for New Mexicans,” said Hayden.

“I don’t believe we’re ready for the electric vehicles yet,” said the owner of Zia Auto James Santistevan. “We’re definitely selling them but the demand is not quite there yet. But I can tell you the battery life is just not there yet on them.”

Santistevan said their brand new service center is ready for those low-emission cars but believes New Mexico isn’t ready for a wave of low emission cars. “We don’t have the infrastructure,” said Santistevan. “There’s definitely some charging stations but it’s not compared to Colorado, Texas, Phoenix. We just don’t have it yet.”

Santistevan said if the state wants people to buy clean cars, he recommends taking a page from California’s book. He said they provide incentives for purchasing clean cars. “It’s a kickback back to the dealers to move those cars to the consumer,” said Santistevan.

The clean car rules have not been drafted yet but if they move towards those rules, the state says it could mean getting rid of almost two million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2023 or the equivalent of 200,000 cars off the roads for one year. The first meeting to get public input is scheduled for July 21.

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