A zero emission Nikola Motors electric semi-truck. Courtesy/NMED
ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) awarded Goodwill Industries of New Mexico $464,996 in grant funding to reimburse partial funding for two zero emission Nikola Motors electric semi-trucks. These new semi-trucks, used by Goodwill Industries for its operations and transportation hub, will replace older diesel engines with electric engines that do not produce any tailpipe emissions.
Over the lifetime of the vehicles, diesel fuel use will be reduced by 46,507 gallons with the added benefit of removing 523 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, aligning with Gov. Lujan Grisham’s climate change policy. Goodwill Industries anticipates that these electric vehicles will log up to 80,000 miles combined every year. There will be a 100% reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from the combustion of diesel fuel. NOX contributes to the formation of ozone, and both ozone and particulate matter contribute to the formation of smog. Both pollutants can cause respiratory problems, especially in vulnerable populations like children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses.
“We are proud to bring these zero emission semi-tractors to New Mexico.” said Tom Downey, Chief Financial Officer for Goodwill Industries of New Mexico. “As we enter into a new era of technology, Goodwill continues to find new and innovative ways to serve our community, whether it’s electric vehicles, preparing people for job interviews through virtual reality, or offering Google certification courses to the public free of charge. We thank Secretary Kenney and the New Mexico Environmental Department for bringing the EPA’s DERA program to New Mexico and making the program accessible. We encourage other entities to take advantage of this program.”
Goodwill Industries is a local, nonprofit agency that has been helping New Mexicans find jobs and gain access to specialized social services for over 75 years. Their programs and services are funded primarily by revenue generated through the sale of donated clothing, housewares, furniture and more. Goodwill employs approximately 375 New Mexicans, with facilities in Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Roswell, Clovis, Santa Fe, Farmington, Gallup, and Espanola. Last year Goodwill served 14,978 New Mexicans through the free services it offers in all 33 counties of New Mexico. In 2022, Goodwill saved 9,188,000 pounds of material from the landfill through its recycling efforts.
“We are investing in New Mexico businesses who embrace climate-friendly solutions,” Environment Secretary James Kenney said. “Now is the time for all New Mexico businesses interested in lowering their carbon footprint to contact us to see if we can help finance your projects.”
Grant funding is awarded from the NMED through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). NMED is currently accepting applications for approximately $884,00 in additional DERA funding on a rolling, first come, first serve basis. Application information, application forms, and access to a pre-recorded webinar on the submission process is available at https://www.env.nm.gov/air-quality/diesel/ or by calling 505-476-4300. NMED will be applying for additional DERA funding later this year to provide additional funding opportunities to businesses in the future.
“It is exciting to see these new all electric semi-trucks deployed in New Mexico,” said Rob Black, President and CEO of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce. “Secretary Kenney’s creativity and Goodwill’s commitment to do right by the environment, by their mission and by the community made this project possible. I encourage other New Mexico businesses and organizations to reach out to the Department of the Environment for help in reducing their operational carbon footprint.”
The new semi-trucks will operate in the Albuquerque metro area, including Rio Rancho and Bernalillo, and the cities of Los Lunas, Santa Fe and Española. This project will have immediate and long-lasting positive impacts on these communities. Deployment of the vehicles is expected in late Fall 2023.
There are more than four million Class 8 diesel trucks on the roads today. According to the manufacturer, one Nikola truck prevents 106MT of carbon dioxide from being emitted every year.
“We are excited to see Goodwill Industries, a company globally recognized for its commitment to environmental excellence and enriching communities, incorporate the Nikola Tre BEV into its fleet operations and transportation hub in the State of New Mexico,” Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Nikola Corporation said. “Nikola is proud to support Goodwill’s mission and looks forward to continuing to partner with Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration and other key stakeholders throughout the state to decarbonize the heavy-duty transportation sector.”
“The New Mexico Environment Department has been a great partner with Wagner Equipment Co. helping promote the adoption of zero-emission trucking in New Mexico,” Wagner Vice President Brian Rothe said.
Wagner Equipment Co. is best known as the Caterpillar construction and mining equipment dealer serving the territories of New Mexico, Colorado, and West Texas. Wagner’s 1,500 employees sell, rent, and service the full line of Caterpillar equipment from thirty-three physical locations across the territories they serve. With an eye to the future, Wagner is also selling and servicing environmentally-friendly solutions including Nikola’s battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell semi-trucks, Caterpillar’s micro-grid energy solutions including solar and battery storage options, and the soon to be released line of battery powered construction equipment.