Page updated 2/1/2022
Since November, our MN350 Electrify Minnesota Trucks Team has been working to get the dirtiest vehicles off Minnesota roads. From delivery vans to school buses, medium and heavy duty vehicles are one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases in Minnesota – and yet the state has not acted to clean up this sector. 2022 is our chance to change this.
One of the biggest steps Minnesota can take immediately is to sign onto the Multistate Memorandum of Understanding for Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles (MOU). Our team is asking Governor Walz to do just that. On January 31 2022 we delivered a letter asking for him to take this action, with the names of over 60 supporters across climate justice, racial justice, labor, manufacturing, and the Minnesota Legislature. We hope to see the Governor take action on this no later than March, 2022.
If you want to be a part of getting the dirtiest vehicles off the road, there are 3 steps you can take today.
By taking action, you can help turn the tide towards a stable climate, clean air, and a fighting chance for the future.
Sign-On Letter in Support of Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Emission Reduction
Dear Governor Walz,
Since June 2020, Governors of 16 states and the District of Columbia have signed a memorandum of understanding to foster a self-sustaining market for zero emission (electric) medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses.
On behalf of the undersigned organizations and individuals, we request that you join them in signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU), making Minnesota the first Midwest state to join the consortium and allowing the state to access the shared resources and knowledge of the other signatory states.
This memorandum is a voluntary initiative. It does not create any legally binding rights or obligations for the state of Minnesota. Instead, it sets a 2050 goal for all sales of new medium and heavy duty vehicles in Minnesota to be zero emissions, with an interim goal of 30 percent zero emissions sales by 2030. DC and the states who have signed the memorandum will share ideas, research, and a suggested action plan for meeting those goals.
As you know, in 2007, Governor Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act which called for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025 (compared to 2005 levels) and 80 percent by 2050. The state has missed its interim goals to-date and, as of this year, has cut greenhouse gas emissions by only 8 percent since 2005.
Medium and heavy-duty vehicles are the next largest emitters of greenhouse gasses in the transportation sector after light duty vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles present a solution and already are in use across the nation and world, with over 70 electric truck models on the market and dozens more to come in future years. Toronto is adding 300 electric transit buses to its current fleet of 60. Virginia, one of the states that has signed the MOU, has begun converting all of its 13,000 school buses to electric motors, a task it intends to complete by 2030. At the Port of Los Angeles, electric powered trucks are hauling shipping containers from the docks to their next destinations. Additionally, many of the nation’s largest retailers support clean trucks and have committed to purchasing and transitioning to an all-electric truck fleet. Minnesota has been producing electric buses for years, and fostering a continued market will result in more union manufacturing jobs, investment in rural communities, and improved health for truck drivers statewide.
Climate change is an emergency which already is costing the state of Minnesota and its residents more than a billion dollars a year. The impacts of climate change disproportionately impact the marginalized in our community, including the unhoused, the young and elderly, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), compounding the economic and health inequities already present in our state. We must urgently transition to a zero-emission transportation landscape for the health of Minnesotans across race, class, and geography.
Medium and heavy-duty vehicles disproportionately emit harmful criteria pollutants, such as Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM2.5), which are linked to asthma, bronchitis, cancers, and premature deaths. Although medium and heavy-duty vehicles comprise 10 percent of all vehicles on the road in the US, they account for nearly 25 percent of total U.S. climate pollution and 45 percent of NOx emissions for the entire transportation sector.
Due to historical and ongoing racism in road placement and underinvestment in BIPOC communities, these communities are 61% more likely to be exposed to these harmful levels of air pollution. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Life and Breath report, between 2,000 and 4,000 Minnesotans die each year due to air quality issues. Changing our state’s medium and heavy duty vehicle fleets to zero emission is not just an issue of climate justice, it is an issue of equity and racial justice.
Working with the other MOU signatory states, we can make the necessary changes to infrastructure and spur the market towards inexpensive and reliable medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles. Those states are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon (whose governor is a Twin Cities native), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.
We appreciate and commend your leadership on Clean Cars Minnesota. But more remains to be done. Joining the memorandum of understanding is the next logical step in living up to the requirements of the state’s Next Generation Energy Act and addressing our climate emergency.
List of signees
Senator Scott Dibble
Senator Omar Fateh
Senator Jason Isaacson
Senator Ann Johnson Stewart
Senator John Marty
Senator Jennifer McEwen
Senator Jerry Newton
Senator Sandy Pappas
Senator Lindsey Port
Representative Liz Boldon
Representative Jim Davnie
Representative Heather Edelson
Representative Aisha Gomez
Representative Alice Hausman
Representative Athena Hollins
Representative Frank Hornstein
Representative Sydney Jordan
Representative Fue Lee
Representative Jamie Long
Representative Carlos Mariani
Representative Kelly Morrison
Representative David Pinto
Representative Zack Stephenson
Alliance for Sustainability
Black Visions Collective
The Climate Majority Project South West Metro
Cooperative Energy Futures
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)
DFL Environmental Caucus
Elders for Climate Action
Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate
Lakeville Friends of the Environment
Lutheran EcoFaith Network (Minneapolis Synod of the ELCA)
Minnesota Association for Sustainable Pension Investments
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Divestment Coalition
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
Minnesota Well Owners Organization
MN Renewable Now
Native Sun Community Power Development
North Suburban Progressives
Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Resilient Communities Coalition
Sierra Club – North Star Chapter
St Olaf Lutheran Church
St. Paul Federation of Educators Local 28
Take Action Minnesota
Telin Transportation Group
Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc