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Consumer Reports and Minnesotans petition for Low- and Zero-Emission Vehicle standards

CR also submits public comments to state detailing consumer benefits, including nearly $9 billion in savings by adopting LEV

SAINT PAUL, MN — Consumer Reports submitted public comments to Minnesota today in support of a plan to adopt Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards. Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is considering adopting rules that would require vehicle manufacturers to deliver vehicles to the Minnesota market that produce lower emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants. Today is the deadline for public comments to be submitted to the state.

Minnesota is undergoing a formal rule-making process that welcomes public comments and input from residents and experts. In CR’s petition, over 500 Minnesotans asked the state to adopt both the LEV and ZEV standards so residents can breathe cleaner air, spend less on gasoline, and help fight climate change.

By adopting the LEV standard, known as the ‘Clean Cars standard,’ Minnesotan drivers could save nearly $9 billion, according to a recent Consumer Reports study. These net savings include the fuel savings as well as the technology costs needed to reduce vehicle emissions. If the federal government rolls back emissions standards, as indicated in its proposed rule dated August 2018, then joining the “Clean Car” states that maintain this standard would help preserve these savings.

“Adopting the LEV and ZEV programs will ensure that Minnesota drivers will be able to purchase new vehicles that pollute less than they do today, while providing superior performance and lower operating costs,” says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports. “With the White House threatening to weaken pollution rules for vehicles, the best way for Minnesota to protect consumers from an increase in fuel spending is to adopt these Clean Car standards.”

6 in every 10 prospective car buyers in Minnesota has some interest in electric cars, trucks and SUVs, finds a recently-published survey conducted by Consumer Reports (CR) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The survey also found that 66 percent of prospective Minnesota car buyers want automakers to provide more types of electric vehicles, like SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans. Adopting the ZEV program would help ensure Minnesotans can find these kinds of electric vehicles in the coming years.

Electric vehicles offer significantly lower operating and fueling costs compared to traditional, gas-powered cars. Electric vehicles in Minnesota, on average, also produce about 62% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gas-powered vehicles, according to a recent analysis by Consumer Reports.

The public comments submitted to Minnesota are attached at the top of this page as a downloadable PDF.