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Updated: Oct 6, 2020

September 25, 2020

Contact: Jeremy Drucker (612) 670-9650

Today marks the one year anniversary of Governor Walz pledge to join fourteen other states in adopting clean car standards

St. Paul, MN-- Today marks the one year anniversary of Governor Walz’s pledge to join fourteen other states and the District of Columbia in adopting clean car standards. On September 25, 2019 Governor Walz stood with electric utilities, consumer advocates, and climate organizations and announced that “We can’t count on Washington to lead, so Minnesota needs to,” when it comes to climate change. In November and December of last year the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency held an initial public comment period seeking ideas on the new rule. One year later the draft rule has yet to be released.

“Over the past year, Clean Cars Minnesota inspired thousands of Minnesotans from all corners of the state to speak up in support of clean car standards at the legislature, in public meetings, and by submitting official comments online,” said Michael Noble, Executive Director of Fresh Energy. “I’m thankful for everyone who engaged in the feedback process and urge all parties to ensure that Clean Cars Minnesota is finalized as soon as possible.”

Clean car standards will address the number one cause of climate pollution, emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles. Numerous studies have shown they will result in more consumer choice, consumer savings, cleaner air, and a healthier population.

“A lot has changed since the crisp fall day one year ago when state agency leaders, reporters, utilities, and excited electric vehicle owners gathered for the Governor’s Clean Cars Minnesota announcement,” said Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota. “Today, as we continue to face the current health crisis, the need to protect air quality for the most vulnerable communities among us is more apparent than ever before. We must remain committed to addressing Minnesota’s number one source of climate change-causing pollution by moving forward with the Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking process.”

“Storms, heat, smoke and harmful air quality days...Minnesota’s climate is changing at an alarming rate. We need to take swift action now, addressing the #1 cause of climate pollution,” said Joshua Houdek, Senior Program Manager at Sierra Club North Star Chapter. “Minnesotans want cleaner cars and trucks, but can’t find them at their dealership.”

Since Governor Walz’s press conference a year ago the private sector has made huge strides in driving increased electrification of the transportation sector. Xcel Energy announced last month a new initiative to supercharge electric vehicle adoption by proposing $150M in auto rebates, including $2,500 per electric automobile or light truck. Xcel’s goal is to have 20% of vehicles on the road be electric by 2030. Earlier this year Amazon ordered 100,000 custom delivery vehicles from electric vehicle maker Rivian to help reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. On Monday Walmart announced it also aims to reduce its global emissions to zero by 2040, in part by switching to an all-electric vehicle fleet.

Alli Gold Roberts, Director of State Policy for the business sustainability non-profit Ceres said, "Minnesota companies are among the supporters of Clean Cars Standards because more efficient vehicles save businesses, employees and customers money on fuel and maintenance costs. Minnesota Clean Cars will enable more businesses to invest in electric vehicles, expand consumer choice, and help companies meet their sustainability goals."

Car buyers in clean car states have a lot more clean car models to choose from – including crossovers and SUVs – and Minnesota should have all those options available here. Automakers – including Ford and GM – have announced plans for dozens of new electric models in the next five years, including 20 electric SUVs and crossover vehicles, well suited to Minnesotans’ lifestyle.

“In Minnesota, transportation is the biggest source of emissions towards the climate crisis and one of the biggest sources of air pollution. Last year Governor Walz took a first step towards addressing this by beginning the rulemaking process for Clean Car Standards in Minnesota,” said Madi Johnson, Clean Transportation Organizer with MN 350. “This year we'd like to take the next critical steps in Minnesota becoming a leader in addressing the climate crisis. This rule will become an essential springboard after which we can improve electric vehicle access across our states, including growing out incentives and rebates so that Minnesotans of any income and those most impacted by air pollution have equal access to clean cars.”

A recent study found that 6 in every 10 prospective car buyers in Minnesota has interest in electric cars, trucks and SUVs. 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 clean car program would help ensure Minnesotans can find these kinds of electric vehicles in the coming years.

“A recent report from the American Lung Association affirms that electrification of the transportation sector will save lives and will yield significant reductions in air pollution,” said Dr. Mike Menzel of Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate. “In the midst of a massive pandemic, some of the groups at highest risk for severe effects from the coronavirus are those who are most at risk from exposure to air pollution. In Minnesota we have the opportunity to save lives and health care costs by implementing clean car standards to clean our air and protect our health.”

Clean car standards are critical for protecting the health of all Minnesotans. In August 2019, MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health released the Life and Breath report that showed that air pollution contributed to roughly 2,000-4,000 deaths in Minnesota in 2013 as well as hundreds of increased hospital visits.

To learn more about clean car standards click here.

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

Contact: Kirk Brown, Recharge America: (612) 504-9841;

Inaugural Recharge MN Recognition Event Co-hosted by Recharge America, the Olseth Family Foundation and Fresh Energy

MINNEAPOLIS, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: A diverse group of 18 Minnesota companies,

communities, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations have been

recognized for their efforts to expand the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Minnesota.

The inaugural Recharge MN recognition ceremony spotlighting leaders in EV adoption was held as a virtual event on September 22, 2020. The Recharge MN program recognizes Minnesota companies, communities, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations that take steps to encourage EV adoption. The event was co-hosted by Recharge America, the Olseth Family Foundation and Fresh Energy and included Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop who served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

“The voices we're hearing from today provide an inspiring view into communities working

together for the promise of a better Minnesota," said Jon Olseth, Director of the Olseth

Family Foundation. "We’re proud to join with leaders from across our state to spotlight their

collective efforts and their shared commitment to innovation, community, and collaboration."

“Today, Fresh Energy joins in celebrating a wide variety of organizations across the state who

are committing to be innovative and economic leaders setting the pace for a clean energy future in Minnesota,” said J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director of Fresh Energy. “These recognition recipients are helping more Minnesotans gain access to clean transportation, including electric vehicles, and their work is truly making a difference in our state.”

For every individual EV in a community, Recharge America has shown that it delivers over

$1,000 per year in local economic development benefit. The Recharge MN initiative recognizes leaders across the state for their actions to build on those economic benefits by helping encourage and facilitate greater EV use. The Olseth Family Foundation has helped support and spearhead the initiative over the past three years. More information about the Recharge MN program can be found at

To receive recognition, Recharge MN participants create an EV Action Plan that outlines steps they are taking to help Minnesotans gain greater access to clean transportation. Participants then commit to share lessons learned and help mentor others.

For more coverage of the inaugural participant recognition event, including videos of the recognition recipients and event participants, please visit:

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

September 16, 2020

Contact: Jeremy Drucker (612) 670-9650

St. Paul, MN-- Yesterday the American Lung Association released a report highlighting the potential public health benefits of widespread electrification of the transportation sector. In Minnesota, and across the US, the transportation sector is one of the biggest sources of air pollution. Air pollution and poor air quality are associated with an increased risk of a wide range of negative health outcomes including asthma attacks, lost work days and premature deaths. In Minnesota air pollution is estimated to cause between 2,000-4,000 deaths a year.

The report from the American Lung Association looked at this and examined the public health benefits if widespread electric vehicle adoption (powered by clean energy sources) occurred. By 2050 these benefits for Minnesota would amount to (annually) dozens of avoided deaths, over 1500 avoided asthma attacks, over 5,000 work loss days avoided, and nearly $750 million in avoided health care costs.

The report notes:

Our air quality and climate crises demand steady, consistent progress toward moving our passenger vehicles, transit and school buses, delivery vans and the broad trucking sector away from combustion and toward non-polluting vehicles powered by more non-combustion renewable energy. The analysis illustrates that transitioning to zero-emission transportation solutions along with increasing levels of renewable energy by mid-century will save thousands of lives, avoid tens of thousands of asthma attacks, hundreds of thousands of other health impacts, and avoid tens of billions of dollars in health costs as a result of significant pollution reductions. In addition, moving to eliminate combustion from the transportation sector will yield significant reductions in greenhouse gases that drive wide-ranging climate change impacts on air quality and public health. The dual air pollution and climate change health crises facing America today must be addressed immediately, with electric vehicles and clean energy playing a leading role in the solution.

In Minnesota, Governor Walz announced last year his administration would be moving forward on bringing tougher vehicle emissions standards to Minnesotans which studies show will save consumer’s $1,600 over the life of a new vehicle and reduce emissions of smog-forming and climate pollutants. These clean cars standards will also bring other benefits such as attracting additional investments in charging infrastructure that will spur job growth as well as driving down electricity rates for Minnesotans everywhere.

Learn more about how Minnesota can reap the benefits of clean cars here.

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