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Minnesota Becomes A Clean Cars State

Courtesy of the Office of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.

[July 26, St. Paul, MN] — Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan celebrated clean car standards taking effect in Minnesota. The new standards, finalized by a notice in the state register today, reduce carbon emissions, create good-paying jobs, boost Minnesota’s manufacturing industry, and increase the choices Minnesotans have in purchasing cars. In marking today’s milestone, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor visited Phillips & Temro Industries in Eden Prairie, which manufactures clean car automotive parts, including EV chargers and EV battery heaters.

“Today, as Minnesota becomes a clean cars state, we’re creating jobs across every corner of the state, we’re giving Minnesotans more choices at their local car dealer, we’re saving Minnesotans money, and we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our environment for future generations,” said Governor Walz. “These clean cars standards are a win across the board. With cleaner air, more car options, economic growth, and less money spent on foreign oil, every Minnesotan will benefit.”

“Minnesota is working to lead the nation in developing innovative solutions to curb climate change like clean cars. Becoming a clean cars state will make real progress toward lowering our carbon emissions, because we know that Minnesota’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Becoming a clean cars state also means that Minnesotans will have access to purchase more clean car models right here in Minnesota, and our children will have cleaner air to breathe.”

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that sales of electric vehicles are increasing faster than the automotive industry as a whole. Consumer Reports has also praised the Clean Cars standard, reporting that 70% of Minnesotans have an interest in purchasing electric cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Minnesota is the 15th state to adopt clean car standards. The policy will implement two clean cars standards to reduce vehicle emissions. The low-emission vehicle (LEV) standard requires vehicle manufacturers to deliver passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs that produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants for sale in Minnesota. The zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard requires automobile manufacturers to deliver more vehicles with ultra-low or zero tailpipe emissions for sale in Minnesota, including electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid models.

These new standards will increase consumer choice in Minnesota. Despite the fact that many Minnesotans want to drive electric vehicles, manufacturers have historically offered fewer than half of their models here, and instead offered them in states that have adopted clean car standards. Implementing clean car standards in Minnesota will unleash this market in our state, give Minnesotans greater access to vehicles with better fuel economy, and increase the availability of used electric vehicles. Minnesotans get to choose the vehicle that is right for them and their families. Setting higher standards does not force anyone to give up their current vehicle or choose a vehicle that does not work for their lifestyle.

America’s clean car standards have saved drivers in other states over $88 billion and counting. Electric vehicles are cheaper to operate and maintain than gasoline vehicles. Increasing access to these vehicles will save Minnesotans thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their car and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

The standards will also help build out Minnesota’s electric vehicle infrastructure will create good-paying jobs and boost the economy across the state, particularly Minnesota’s rural electric cooperatives. Already, more than 61,000 Minnesotans work in clean energy, with 1 in 3 clean energy jobs located in Greater Minnesota.

The transportation sector is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. The standards will also improve public health by reducing emissions and protecting Minnesotans from air pollution in every corner of the state.

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