Minnesota auto dealers file 2nd suit over ‘clean cars’ plan

Published 6:27 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

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ST. PAUL— Minnesota auto dealers are suing over the state’s “clean cars” plan, saying the rules violate state law by improperly delegating the state’s authority to the California Air Resources Board.

The rules adopted last year by the Walz administration and published in the State Register take effect in 2024 with the 2025 model year. They’ll require manufacturers and dealers to supply more electric vehicles for the Minnesota marketplace.

The Minnesota Auto Dealers Association filed the complaint with the state Court of Appeals, following unsuccessful attempts at the federal level to block the plan.

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The group argues that Minnesota doesn’t qualify to adopt the California rules under federal law, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“Dealers are all in for the adoption of EVs and are making sizeable investments in their businesses to get ready for an expected increase in demand,” association president Scott Lambert said in a statement. “But they’re making plans based on consumer appetite, not what California dictates.”

California has special permission to implement its own tailpipe emission standards stricter than those of the federal government. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency argues that there’s strong demand for EVs in the state, but many of those vehicles get sent instead to other states that have already adopted the California standards.

Minnesota is now one of 17 states to follow California’s lead.