Minnesota leads Midwest but still has room to improve on electric vehicles

A cover hides a charging for port for Tom Rayburn's Mitsubishi i-MiEV
A cover for a charging port on an electric vehicle in St. Paul in 2018. The Biden administration and some car companies seem to be going big on electric vehicles.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2018

Late last month, President Joe Biden announced plans to electrify the federal government’s fleet of vehicles, as he looks to spur electrification to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. And now General Motors has said it wants to sell only electric vehicles, or EVs, by 2035.

But are states and consumers ready for them?

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, tracks states progress on infrastructure and policies that would help consumers adopt clean cars and transit. Its recent scorecard ranks Minnesota 12th in the nation.

“Minnesota has done a number of things well,” said Bryan Howard, state policy director at ACEEE. “It’s done a really good job of articulating how utilities could invest in EV infrastructure [such as charging stations]. The state has also taken some initial steps to ratify California’s zero-emission vehicle regulations, which would set that manufacturers need to sell a certain number of electric vehicles in the state.”

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has proposed adopting the California standard through its rulemaking process. Republicans in the state legislature say that’s an overstep and are challenging the move.

Howard said where Minnesota falls short is not offering incentives for buying EVs.

Howard talked more about it on Climate Cast this week. Click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast to listen.

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