Minnesota The Latest State to Adopt Clean Car Rule
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Minnesota has joined states like California to adopt clean car standards.
On July 26, Minnesota officially adopted the Clean Car rule. These standards have already been implemented by 14 other states, but Minnesota is the first Midwestern state to adopt them.
This will give consumers more electric car options as manufacturers are pushed to build greener vehicles. The rule won’t take effect until January 2024 and you’ll see its impact on 2025 vehicle models, as reported by Duluth News Tribune.
What are clean car standards?
Clean car standards are regulations set for the auto industry that’s meant to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. These standards can vary by individual state.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), there are two types of vehicle emissions standards that most states implement. This includes the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard and the low-emission vehicle (LEV) standard.
The low-emission vehicle standard sets tailpipe pollution limits and requires manufacturers to produce new light and medium-duty vehicles with lower emissions. This standard has been in place since 2012 and it was the same as federal emissions standards until 2020. Between 2012 and 2020, all new vehicles sold in Minnesota were LEV-certified.
The zero-emission vehicle standard requires manufacturers to produce vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions. This standard pushes automakers to offer more makes and models of electric vehicles (EVs). There are more EVs available in states that have adopted the ZEV standard.
Minnesota is working on implementing both of these standards.
What are the benefits of the Clean Car rule?
According to Duluth News Tribune, around 25% of heat-trapping gases causing extreme weather events and warming temperatures in the U.S. come from cars and low-duty trucks. The proposed standards will put more zero-emission vehicles on the road and can help combat the effects of climate change.
Minnesota aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 15% by 2015 but failed to meet this target. The clean car standards are expected to boost these efforts and help the state reach its goal of reducing emissions by 30% by 2025.
The Clean Car rule will offer more choices to buyers who want to drive cleaner and more energy-efficient cars. As new electric SUVs and trucks become available, more consumers will be able to comfortably make the switch.
Will the clean car standards really increase EV adoption?
Duluth News Tribune reported that the plan to implement the rule was initially opposed by Republican state lawmakers and Minnesota auto dealers. The two parties argued that the rule would force dealers to stock hybrid and electric cars, which might not be appealing to rural communities.
Minnesota Auto Dealers Association President Scott Lambert said, “Incentives and infrastructure are usually the proven way to get more electric vehicles on the road.” He added that “the governor has done nothing regarding infrastructure and the California Rule is a pure supply mandate that does not address how to increase demand.”
Governor Tim Walz said that the rule didn’t have the effects that critics are afraid of when it was implemented in the other 14 states. California has the most electric cars, and consumers in this state have more options for EVs.
To support EV adoption, President Joe Biden is also planning to build more charging stations around the country. This will further encourage car buyers to switch to EVs.
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