SAINT PAUL, MN — Today, Governor Tim Walz directed Minnesota to begin the process of adopting ‘Low Emission Vehicle’ (LEV) standards, which would lower pollution and fuel bills from cars, trucks and SUVs while still delivering the safety and performance consumers expect and deserve. Coming just a day after New Mexico announced similar plans, Minnesota and New Mexico are now poised to become the 15th and 16th states to choose strong vehicle emissions standards, and use state authority to protect consumers from the harmful effects of air pollution and high fuel bills.
Following on the heels of last week’s announcement from the White House on its plan to weaken federal vehicle emissions standards and strip states of their authority to choose to keep the current standards, Minnesota’s action is a breath of fresh air. Consumer Reports’ manager of cars and energy policy, Shannon Baker-Branstetter, said, “With the federal government abdicating its responsibilities to protect communities from air pollution and address climate change, this decision by the governor is a win for all Minnesota families, and a great example of leadership for other states that have not yet adopted low emission vehicle standards.”
Minnesota is also planning to adopt a program to make it easier for people to buy zero-emission vehicles, like electric vehicles. A new survey of prospective car buyers in Minnesota from Consumer Reports and the Union of Concerned Scientists finds widespread interest in electric vehicles in the state, as well as support for a program that would require automakers to offer more electric car, truck and SUV options.
- About 6 in 10 prospective car buyers in Minnesota are interested in electric vehicles, including 30 percent who say they would consider buying or leasing one within the next two years.
- 66 percent of prospective Minnesota car buyers want automakers to provide more types of electric vehicles, like SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans.
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% less greenhouse gas emissions than gas-powered vehicles, according to a recent analysis by Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports supports state adoption of low and zero emission standards because they save drivers money on fuel, improve the kinds of vehicles consumers already like to drive, and increase buying options for consumers at their local car dealerships. Consumer Reports applauds Minnesota’s decision to stand up for consumer rights to lower pollution and more clean car choices.