When I was in the market for another car a couple of years ago, an EV (electric vehicle) caught my eye, and I am glad it did. Wow, have I saved money since. Maintenance is just tire rotation, wiper blades, and a computer check every six months.
“Fill up” is a 240v charger in my own garage. I have saved hundreds of dollars in lower maintenance costs and in electricity compared to gasoline and oil.
Surveys show 66% of Minnesotans are interested in EVs. But Minnesota has half the number of EV models available for sale as other states. Many dealers aren’t stocking or promoting them.
That’s why Minnesota needs the Clean Cars Minnesota standards proposed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Fourteen other states and Washington DC have clean car standards, resulting in better air quality, more EV choices and savings for residents. We can join them.
The Clean Cars Minnesota standards currently moving through the state’s rule-making process have two goals — to reduce carbon emissions and increase choices Minnesotans have when shopping for new vehicles.
Transportation is Minnesota’s number one source of climate pollution.
More needs to be done to get our state back on track to meet existing carbon reduction goals.
The new standards would require more low and zero emission vehicles to be available for purchase in Minnesota. How many more? Even with the standards, it’s estimated only 8% of new passenger vehicles sold by 2025 will be partly or fully electric under a Clean Cars Minnesota scenario. So it is not likely that many auto dealers will have to stock electric vehicles. The economic downturn caused by the pandemic has been felt in communities across Minnesota, but it also provides us with an opportunity to rethink the way we rebuild a more sustainable, equitable and carbon-free economy.
Bringing more electric vehicles to Minnesota means we can continue to invest in our charging infrastructure; this will bring tourism and jobs to communities like Stillwater.
A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the savings from clean cars would be reinvested into Minnesota communities, creating over 12,000 jobs.
The Clean Cars Minnesota rule is currently being reviewed by an administrative law judge and the MPCA is accepting comments on the rule until March 15.
Though Minnesotans will not be required to purchase a new vehicle — a common misconception — and vehicles already on the road and used vehicles are not subject to this rule — the rule will put more low-carbon choices on the market within the state and will keep these EV sales at dealerships in Minnesota.
Adoption of the Clean Cars Minnesota standards will lead to a healthier Minnesota for us all.
A petition in support of the standards is available here. https://actnow.io/IrAhyIa
Gorski is a member of SustainableStillwaterMN.org, a 501c3 organization