Dive Brief:

  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, D, signed legislation Wednesday that will provide more than $200 million in incentives and other funding to expand transportation electrification in the state.
  • The funding supports consumer rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles, EV infrastructure at auto dealerships and electric school buses and their related charging equipment. The new law also provides $13.6 million in additional matching funds to help establish a statewide EV charging infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.
  • “Taken together, these investments put Minnesota on the map as a serious investor in our electric transportation future,” said Brendan Jordan, vice president for Transportation and Fuels at the Great Plains Institute, in a press release.

Dive Insight:

Minnesota is one of 17 states that have adopted California’s more stringent vehicle emissions standards in lieu of federal standards. With the passage of the new legislation, Minnesota joins California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Massachusetts in offering consumer EV rebates to grow its ranks from the nearly 35,000 electric vehicles the state counted as of January. 

The state will offer $2,500 rebates to first-time buyers of new EVs priced under $55,000 and $600 rebates for used electric vehicles sold for less than $25,000. Minnesota auto dealers will receive $2 million in one-time grants to offset the cost of installing the infrastructure needed to support EV sales.

The new law also provides $216.4 million in state matching funds to attract private-sector investment in the state’s charging network.

“These new programs — especially Minnesota’s commitment to matching federal investments in EV infrastructure — will put the state’s deployment of charging infrastructure into hyperdrive,” said Jena Ginsburg, public policy manager at ChargePoint, in a press release.

The law also requires the state’s public electric utilities to file plans with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission outlining their strategy to promote EV adoption among their customers.

“Xcel Energy supports the state’s 2030 EV adoption goal because we know this will deliver cleaner air for everyone and significant fuel cost savings,” said Nadia El Mallakh, vice president of clean transportation at Xcel Energy, in a press release.

In accordance with a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling in January, the state will need to undertake a separate rulemaking process if it wants to follow California’s mandate banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars and light-duty trucks by the 2035 model year.