Minnesota adopts CARB standards


Minnesota is the latest state — and the first in the Midwest — to adopt California’s stricter tailpipe emission standards and mandate for automakers to get more zero-emission vehicles onto sales lots.

The rules don’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2024, for 2025 models, so Minnesotans likely will not see an immediate burst of new electric vehicle options at dealerships. But the adoption sends a clear signal, and vehicle selection is expected to expand in the next 18 months.

Notice of official adoption of the rules was posted July 26 in the Minnesota State Register.

Gov. Tim Walz pushed hard for the clean car standards as part of his broader effort to combat the climate crisis and get Minnesota back on track to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals set years ago by lawmakers.

Transportation is the state’s leading source of heat-trapping global warming emissions, but electric vehicle sales have been minuscule in Minnesota.

That likely will change with Minnesota’s new standards, and Walz marked the occasion with a quick victory lap tour at Phillips & Temro Industries — and a hockey analogy. The company makes battery warmers and home and commercial electric vehicle charging equipment at its Eden Prairie plant.

“Minnesotans certainly know that old adage, ‘You need to skate where the puck is going to be, ” Walz told reporters after the tour. “The puck is going to be in EV vehicles, and that is irrefutable.”

Walz was flanked by lawmakers and community leaders who advocated for the standards. Raj Rajan, chairman of the board of directors at St. Paul-based nonprofit Fresh Energy, said the new rules will stimulate clean energy investments, support jobs and improve public health, particularly for people of color disproportionately impacted by the air pollution from vehicles.

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~sTransport Topics, 27 July 2021