Owning an EV in New Mexico: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

New Mexico is rapidly becoming an electric vehicle (EV) friendly state thanks to its expanding charging infrastructure, favorable electricity rates, and incentives aimed at accelerating EV adoption. This guide will provide expert insights into what owning an EV in the Land of Enchantment entails.

Public and Private Charging Station Network Continues Expanding

Access to charging stations is critical for EV owners, and New Mexico has prioritized the growth of both public and private charging infrastructure. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of March 2023 there were 238 public charging stations with 608 ports available across the state.

The New Mexico Environment Department provides an interactive map showing the locations of all public stations. EV drivers can easily locate stations along their route and view details like hours of operation and port types offered.

In addition to the public stations, New Mexico has a blossoming private charging industry. Hotels, restaurants, retailers, workplaces, and residential buildings are installing stations for their guests, customers, employees, and tenants. For example, over a dozen hotels in Albuquerque and Santa Fe now provide Level 2 charging on-site.

This combination of public and private infrastructure expands drivers‘ charging options and should help alleviate "range anxiety" concerns.

New Mexico Offers Some of the Most Affordable Charging Rates Nationally

Charging an EV in New Mexico is very economical thanks to affordable statewide electricity prices.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), New Mexico has an average residential electricity rate of 12.62 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – lower than the nationwide average of 14.66 ¢/kWh.

Based on calculations using data from the Department of Energy and EV manufacturers, we‘ve estimated charging costs for popular EV models in New Mexico:

EV ModelBattery SizeEstimated Cost to Charge
Tesla Model 350 kWh$6.31
Nissan Leaf40 kWh$5.05
Ford Mustang Mach-E75 kWh$9.47
Chevy Bolt60 kWh$7.57

As shown above, estimated charging costs for a full charge range from $5.05 for the shortest range Leaf to $9.47 for the longer range Mustang Mach-E. These costs are based on New Mexico‘s average residential electricity rate. With special EV rates or overnight charging discounts from some utilities, the charging rates can be even lower.

Compared to the cost of gasoline at New Mexico‘s average of $3.46/gallon (according to AAA), EV charging represents significant savings per mile for drivers.

Upfront Purchase Incentives Help With the Initial Cost

While electricity for charging EVs is affordable in New Mexico, the upfront vehicle prices can be stiff since battery technology is still maturing and manufacturing has yet to fully scale. But purchase incentives are available to defray the initial cost:

  • The state offers income tax credits up to $2,500 for an EV purchase or lease
  • Special financing rates as low as 2.99% and rebates up to $750 from utilities like PNM are sometimes offered for EV buyers in their areas
  • Select rural electric co-ops provide incentives up to $1,000 off new EV purchases

The federal tax credit should also be factored in when budgeting for an EV purchase. Up to $7,500 back on your taxes helps make that EV price tag more manageable.

Grants and Tax Credits Available for Charging Station Installations

For public entities, businesses, and property managers installing charging stations, New Mexico provides a few helpful incentives. These include:

  • Volkswagen Settlement Grants – The NM Environment Department utilizes these funds to award grants covering 100% of equipment and installation costs for eligible public charging projects
  • "Make Ready" Building Tax Credit – Buildings can qualify for credits up to $3,000 when installing charges. Named for when infrastructure is made ready, but hasn‘t added actual chargers yet
  • Utility Company Rebates – New Mexico utilities like PNM and Southwestern Electric often subsidize 50-100% of the hardware costs through rebates for qualifying charging station projects

Between state funding pools and utility rebates, much if not all of the costs to install EV charging infrastructure can be covered through New Mexico incentives.

Used EVs Can Offer an Affordable Entry Point

While lower price used EV options are still limited, they present a compelling entry point to EV adoption given New Mexico‘s charging and incentive landscape.

As an example, a 2018 Nissan Leaf with an EPA estimated 151 mile range has an average price of $14,000 for models available in New Mexico per data from Edmunds. Given the car‘s 40 kWh battery size, we estimate a full charge cost of $5 based on New Mexico electricity rates. That‘s about 180 miles of driving range per $5 charge!

Combine that with far lower maintenance requirements than a comparable gas vehicle, and a used EV like the Leaf offers outstanding and affordable transportation in New Mexico. Just be mindful that with degradation, an older EV‘s battery may not achieve the original maximum range.

Latest Developments Further New Mexico‘s EV-Forward Momentum

In closing, some recent news underscores New Mexico‘s surging momentum in EV adoption:

  • Expanded Fast Charging – In early 2023, a new site opened off I-40 in Albuquerque with multiple 150+ kW fast chargers capable of adding 200+ miles of range in 15 minutes
  • Proposed Investment in Charging Infrastructure – Legislation committing $10 million towards statewide charging network expansion is gaining traction during the current state congressional session
  • Growing Model Availability – Hyundai, Kia, and VinFast have recently opened New Mexico dealerships improving access to competitively priced EVs

Given the ongoing charging infrastructure growth, low electricity rates, purchase incentives, and enthusiasm around EVs, New Mexico presents an excellent environment to make the transition from gasoline to electric vehicles. This guide summarizes the key factors to evaluate from charging options to cost considerations when going electric in New Mexico.

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