Today, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is proud to announce that $4.6 million will be awarded across 43 projects throughout the state from the Volkswagen Settlement fund.
This round of federal settlement funding was available for projects involving electric vehicles (EV), alternate-fueled vehicles, and light duty zero emission vehicle (ZEV) supply equipment.
“I am thrilled to announce the recipients of this round of funding,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “These projects will benefit not only public health and the environment, but also the local economies in the communities in which they are implemented.”
Close to $1.9 million will contribute to projects in Bernalillo, McKinley, Santa Fe and Torrance counties to purchase new electric transit buses, electric and alternate-fueled school buses, and alternate-fueled solid waste vehicles.
In addition, nearly $2.7 million will be awarded for electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects; the maximum amount allowed under the settlement agreement for New Mexico. The ZEV supply equipment projects will significantly improve charging infrastructure throughout the state, bringing more than 116 new charging stations to 23 of New Mexico’s 33 counties. Recipients include government and private entities in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Artesia, Carlsbad, Clines Corners, Des Moines, Farmington, Ft. Sumner, Gallup, Hobbs, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Tatum, Tucumcari, Santa Fe and Vaughn. In a rural state like New Mexico, installing charging infrastructure is critical to encouraging and increasing the use of electric vehicles, resulting in fewer emissions and better air quality, as well as decreasing the state’s contribution to global warming.
The selected projects will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) by more than 40 tons in urban, rural, and Native communities in New Mexico. This tonnage is equivalent to a large stationary source of air pollution, representing a significant amount of NOX emissions. These projects will efficiently and cost-effectively reduce NOX emissions in areas of New Mexico where residents bear a disproportionate share of NOX pollution and in areas that are nearing the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone.
The federal settlement was reached after VW admitted to installing devices on diesel passenger vehicles that misrepresented the amount of emissions during U.S. testing, resulting in excess emissions of NOX. NOX emissions are responsible for increased ozone as well as increased nitrogen dioxide levels, both of which have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
The full list of projects is available here.