Minnesota adopts ‘clean car’ rules to foster electric shift

Minnesota has officially adopted regulations championed by Gov. Tim Walz to encourage the switchover to electric vehicles. The “clean car” rules published Monday in the State Register take effect in 2024 with the 2025 model year.

According to a press release, the new standards will reduce carbon emissions, create good-paying jobs, boost Minnesota’s manufacturing industry, and increase the choices Minnesotans have in purchasing cars.

"This isn’t just about reducing carbon emissions. We can show you, the CDC and others can show you the number of lives that are lost from air pollution and other things we do each and every year," Gov. Tim Walz said in a press conference on Monday. "And so if you think of this from a stewardship or social responsibility standpoint, it’s a good decision."

They’ll require manufacturers and dealers to supply more electric vehicles for the Minnesota marketplace.

"Minnesotans certainly know that old saying, ‘you need to skate to where the puck is gonna be.’ The puck is going to be in EV-Vehicles. And that is irrefutable," Gov. Walz said at a press conference Monday. "The question is, which states are going to be ready to be there when that puck arrives. Minnesota is now going to be the 15th state that is going to be there to do that."

The Walz administration says the rules will lead to cleaner air and help combat climate change by increasing the availability of electric cars.

But the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association says the changes will swamp dealers with more electric vehicles than customers want to buy, and force up prices for everyone.

"We’re the 15th state to do this, we’re the first in the Midwest. In the 14 other states, the sky did not fall. The car industry did not collapse," Gov. Walz said. "Jobs were not lost. In fact, just the opposite happened in all 15 other states."