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It’s Electric! City Drives Toward Equity with New Affordable Mobility Platform

Electric vehicle carshare program provides affordable option for low-income residents.
February 22, 2024

The City of Albuquerque Sustainability Office and partners Forth, PNM, and Sol Housing have launched the Affordable Mobility Platform (AMP) electric vehicle carshare pilot project today at PAH! Hiland Plaza apartment community. The launch represents the first site in the southwest region in a national community Electric Vehicle (EV) carsharing program.      

As the demand for clean emissions vehicles continues to grow, it is crucial that all communities have access to sustainable transportation options. While public transportation like buses plays a vital role in meeting transportation needs, it does not always address the individualized requirements of every resident. Electric vehicle carsharing programs like AMP fill this gap by providing affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions tailored to the specific needs of frontline communities.

“We’re keeping equity in the driver’s seat and providing our communities with access to sustainable transportation options,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “By ensuring everyone has access to the benefits of clean transportation, we’re paving the way for a more inclusive and environmentally conscious future that doesn’t leave our historic neighborhoods behind.”

Using an online reservation system called MDO Carshare, residents, staff, and community members can sign up and rent the two vehicles stationed at Hiland Plaza for trips for $5/hour or $50/day. Low-income users qualify for discounted rates. EV charging is also available on site.

“This EV carshare program is an important win for our community,” said Albert Lee, Sustainable Transportation Specialist at the City of Albuquerque. “It advances our commitment to equitable climate action, by reducing our carbon footprint, improving air quality, and helping frontline communities access clean transportation in Albuquerque.”

Carsharing is an efficient alternative to owning a vehicle — drivers who use a carsharing system can access a car without having to pay the high costs of ownership including repairs and insurance. Electric carsharing benefits the environment and public health. EVs are oil-free, produce no smog and emit 85% less carbon than traditional cars. In Albuquerque, over 7% of households have no access to a personal vehicle, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

As the first AMP site in the southwest, PAH! Hiland Plaza—an affordable housing development designed for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities—will be joined by carshare communities launching in Santa Fe and Las Vegas. AMP is testing a model for offering affordable short-term use of electric vehicles to increase access to clean transportation in rural and historically underserved communities in the United States. Additional AMP carshare communities will include affordable housing sites in eight states.

“This unique program is helping us reach our city's climate goals, while improving public health in this frontline neighborhood, and also saving folks money,” says Albuquerque City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn. “I'm so proud to see this kind of equity-based program starting here in our community.”

“Many PAH! Hiland Plaza residents have been excitedly inquiring about the GoForth CarShare community benefit,” said Felipe Rael, Executive Director of Sol Housing. “They are looking forward to trying an electric vehicle and the low cost is accessible for regular use. The convenient location on site provides an additional transportation option with flexibility and autonomy of use for our residents and supports sustainability, equity, and accessibility for families.”

“PNM is proud to help bring this carsharing program to our state,” said Don Tarry, President and COO of PNM. “Being able to help provide folks with access to affordable transportation is extremely important. What makes this even better is that people will be able to get a first-hand experience with an electric vehicle.”

This project builds on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Ranked 12th largest municipal green power user on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Top 30 Local Government List,
  • Ranked top 4 large city in the U.S. for most installed solar per capita by Environment America’s Shining Cities report,
  • Achieved LEED for Cities Silver certification,
  • Launched a city-wide food scrap diversion pilot project,
  • Released annual Climate Action Implementation Reports in 2022 and 2023,
  • Developed the 2021 Albuquerque Climate Action Plan,
  • Secured a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed solar projects at 38 city-owned buildings,
  • Expanded the City’s publicly accessible electric vehicle charging station network by adding 18 new stations,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities climate challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 200 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM and Prosperity Works,
  • Invested $600,000 in VW settlement funding to expand electric vehicle infrastructure,
  • Introduced five new electric buses into the transit fleet and secured funding for 20 additional electric buses,
  • Established a permanent Zero Fares program for all ABQ RIDE services,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to achieve 80% renewable energy usage by 2024, and
  • Purchased the first electric vehicles (EVs) for the City fleet, and committed the City to replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles wherever possible.