A group of fringe enviro-Marxist groups, including the Sierra Club, Conservation Voters New Mexico, the Center for Civic Policy, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and others are demanding that the State of New Mexico enact stricter standards mandating that car manufacturers supply New Mexico dealers with a 500% increase in “zero-emission cars such as battery-driven vehicles and low-emission cars such as plug-in hybrids,” reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The coalition of extremist eco-left groups claims the move “will help tackle the climate crisis” and build “a clean car infrastructure in the state.”
According to Tammy Fiebelkorn of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, embattled Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is supportive of the stricter standards. The standards also include those “pertain[ing] to tailpipe and other emissions from vehicles.”
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation told the New Mexican that battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars made up about one percent of the New Mexico market in 2020. According to the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, the increase that the policy, if enacted, would be at least six percent of new vehicle sales being plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric cars by 2026 — a 500% increase.
“Adopting this rule would make more plug-in vehicles available in New Mexico, which would make it easier for consumers to buy them and increase market share,” said Travis Madsen, the transportation program director for Southwest Energy Efficiency.
But many contend that the use of electric vehicles is even less “green” because regardless of the car not directly using fossil fuels, it is still being charged by power supplied from fossil fuels, and thus its supposed purpose is defeated.
Also, electric vehicles have extremely short ranges, from 226 to 258 miles per charge, meaning many people in rural New Mexico who must drive long distances for work or even just to get supplies from the next closest town cannot viably use an electric car.
The lack of range mixed with the extremely high cost of electric vehicles, slow charging times, constant replacement of batteries (not “green” at all), and subpar performance, the push from these enviro-Marxist groups to force “zero-emission” cars into New Mexico’s economy appears hollow and only targeted to a select few city dwellers who can afford the inconvenience and price of such a vehicle. Also, it is impossible to have “zero-emission” vehicles because of the power needed to charge them that can only come from reliable fossil fuels.
The push for these unreliable vehicles comes after Democrats in the Legislature pushed for a 20-cent gas tax on the poor through fuel emissions standards for energy producers, although it was defeated after it did not make it past its last vote in the House of Representatives .