The Clean Cars Minnesota plan would require all cars in the state to be more fuel efficient and produce less pollution. It reportedly also means consumers will have more available options for ultra-low or zero-emission vehicles, like
electricand plug-in hybrid models.
The Clean Cars Minnesota Plan was first introduced in 2019 to force automakers to sell more electric vehicles. It requires the automakers to meet higher fuel economy standards.
More details on the Clean Cars Minnesota plan
The Clean Cars rule was created by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which is empowered by state law to set emissions standards. The agency’s administrative rule-making process involves public hearings and collecting public comments for an extended period—which it did in creating the Clean Cars plan.
An administrative judge signed off on the plan in May, which means the judge agreed that the agency created the rule legally and demonstrated that it would help lower carbon pollution in Minnesota.
So, the Clean Cars Minnesota plan was passed as part of the 2022-23 state budget plan. It’s set to go into effect for the 2025 model year.
The new standards would apply only to consumer vehicles. Off-road farm equipment and construction vehicles won’t be included in the new rules.
According to the
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Clean Cars rule will increase access to and demand for electric vehicles. Right now, the agency claims that less than half of the 40 models of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. are available at Minnesota auto dealers.
The agency also says the new standards will help reduce
air pollutionin communities near busy roadways.
Critics of the Clean Cars Minnesota plan
Some car dealerships in Minnesota are reportedly against the plan. According to KARE 11, the dealers are opposed because they would have to make room on their lots for electric vehicles, which they say will end up being too expensive to sell in the state.
When cars are left on a lot at the end of their model year, they usually have to be sold at a discount.
Senate Republicans have also reportedly complained about the plan, stating that something as important as setting vehicle emissions standards should have to be approved by lawmakers. This would have given the Senate the chance to block the rules.
In addition, the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association had asked the Minnesota governor to hold off on signing the new plan until President Joe Biden makes his intentions clear on national Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.
California has similar emissions standards, but the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association also claimed that Chevrolet Silverado pickups are the top selling vehicles in the Minnesota, while in
California, the top sellers are
Honda Civics—which seems to imply that the emissions standards on cars that work for one state may not work for another.
But Minnesota’s governor Walz has still defended the plan, stating no one will be forced to buy an electric car, but that the plan is about bringing down statewide average emissions.
Clean car standards in other states
Several states already have clean-air standards that are said to be tougher than federal standards.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency , the states that have adopted the zero-emission vehicle standard account for a third of all electric vehicle sales in the country.
The agency also claims that clean car standards have saved drivers in other states over $88 billion and that number is still rising, because electric vehicles are reportedly
cheaper to operate and maintain.