Minnesota moves to get more electric vehicles on roads

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - AP image

"If you want to drive your F-150 (pickup) to take your ice house out to the lake, continue to do that," Walz said in a conference call with reporters. "But we're going to also make sure that there's ice on that lake in January."

Posted: Sep 25, 2019 2:40 PM
Updated: Sep 25, 2019 2:41 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will require car manufacturers to sell more electric vehicles in the state starting in the 2023 model year, Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday, a move meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while defying the Trump administration's efforts to revoke California's clean air and fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

The Democratic governor said the new clean car standards would reduce emissions that contribute to climate change while saving Minnesotans money at the gas pump. But he said people who want to buy and drive big pickup trucks and SUVs to suit their work needs or lifestyles will be free to continue doing so.

"If you want to drive your F-150 (pickup) to take your ice house out to the lake, continue to do that," Walz said in a conference call with reporters. "But we're going to also make sure that there's ice on that lake in January."

Walz and Laura Bishop, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said the department next month will start an 18-month rulemaking process to require manufacturers to offer more hybrid and fully electric vehicles in the state, with a goal of adopting the final rule in December 2020. Walz said Minnesotans now have a choice of about 19 hybrid or electric vehicles, compared with about 43 in 13 other states that have adopted similar low- and zero emission vehicle standards.

"It doesn't dictate to what people will buy," Walz said. "The market will determine this. And right now the market is working in these 13 other states."

The plan essentially would follow California's standards, which are more stringent than the federal regulations. Walz said Minnesota would be the first Midwest state to take this step, joining states including Pennsylvania, Maine and Colorado. Walz said the plan does not need approval from the Legislature.

Under the proposed low emission vehicle standard, affecting hybrids, each manufacturer would have to meet fleet-wide standards based on their vehicle mix, reducing average car emissions by an annual 5% through model year 2025. The proposed separate standard for zero emission vehicles, which are fully electric, would require manufacturers to deliver an increasing volume of them annually.

The governor and commissioner did not offer estimates on how the requirements might affect vehicle prices in Minnesota.

Bishop, who drives an electric vehicle, said the charging stations necessary to support them already exist in much of Minnesota and the number is growing, with increasing interest from communities across the state. Walz said rural electric co-ops and hotels see them as a growth opportunity.

Minnesota has already joined 22 other states in a lawsuit filed Friday that seeks to uphold states' rights to set their own car emission standards. Walz called the Trump administration's move reckless, backward-looking and illegal, and he predicted the effort to roll back that authority will fail.

"They will not win in court," he said. "It is a blatant push. The only people happy about the decision that they made were the oil companies."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
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