Frequently Asked Questions
Minnesotans for Clean Cars is a coalition of Minnesota-based organizations that believe that adopting clean car standards in our state is a smart solution to reducing climate pollution, is consumer friendly, and will benefit Minnesotans’ bottom line.
‘Clean car standards’ refers to the rulemaking underway at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). They apply to automakers only and aim to reduce GHG and other polluting emissions from passenger vehicles in two ways:
- By reducing tailpipe emissions from new, primarily gasoline-powered or “internal combustion engine” (ICE) cars and light-duty trucks; and
- By increasing the number of electric vehicles (EVs) for sale.
The rulemaking process, which began in Fall 2019, has multiple opportunities for Minnesotans to make their voices and concerns heard. As written, these standards will reduce vehicle emissions and increase the number of EVs for sale in Minnesota beginning in the model year 2024 through model 2025, at which points emissions standards and ZEV credit requirements will remain steady. If the standards change in the future, MPCA would need to lead a new round of clean car rulemaking.
Climate change threatens the things Minnesotans love – our land, our air, our water, our children’s future. Minnesota is leading in pushing for innovative solutions to the climate crisis, including implementing clean car standards — requiring car manufacturers to provide more clean car options in Minnesota. Clean cars will protect our environment and our health, increase consumer choice, save Minnesotans money, and help grow our economy.
Clean cars standards will reduce local air pollution by reducing auto emissions over time on each year’s new car models sold in the state. The standards will also bring more electric cars to the state. This means everyone, not just new car buyers, will benefit.
15 other states and Washington DC have adopted clean car standards. Cold weather states that have adopted clean cars standards include Colorado, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania and more. Minnesota would be the first clean car state in the Midwest.
Not only does the Minnesota PCA have the clear authority to act on reducing emissions, it has the obligation to protect our air, our water, and our health under the federal Clean Air Act. In Minnesota, the legislature has authorized PCA to adopt “standards of emission of air contaminants from motor vehicles,” and has directed the PCA to adopt these air pollution standards. Minnesota’s legislative authority to do this also mirrors the authority used by agencies in six other states to adopt these standards. And in these other states, legal challenges to that authority have failed.
The rulemaking process, which began in Fall 2019, has multiple opportunities for Minnesotans to get involved. A series of public information meetings across Minnesota were held by MPCA and Minnesotans have had the chance to make their voice heard in public hearings and by submitting comments. Nearly 14,000 Minnesotans submitting comments in favor of clean cars.
Nearly 14,000 comments were received in support of clean cars during the comment period. In the comments, Minnesotans shared their concerns about air quality, climate emissions and electric vehicle availability, all of which are issues addressed by clean car standards.
The majority of Minnesotans support action on reducing our state’s climate emissions.
Clean car standards in Minnesota help increase the supply of pollution-free cars, light trucks and SUVs. It does NOT include farm or ranch implements like tractors or combines; delivery trucks; tractor trailers or other commercial vehicles.
Nationally, auto manufacturers are focusing their attention on states that have adopted Clean Cars. These companies are not only bringing more electric vehicle options to these states, but they are investing in upgrading the electric charging infrastructure that will help charge these vehicles.
Minnesota needs to adopt Clean Cars in order to ensure more of those models, which include electric light trucks and SUVs, are sent here.