Electrify Minnesota’s buses and trucks

Take action: Get dirty vehicles off Minnesota roads

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. 

  1. RSVP for Bus Back Better on March 10. During this meeting we will hear details from the groundbreaking Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Landscape Report, touring some of our state’s electric buses, take grassroots action to advance the policies our communities need, and make a path forward as a state for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
  2. Sign up to our next Electrify Minnesota Trucks Team meeting. We meet every other Wednesday from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM to plan and advance the campaign. 
  3. Become a movement story collector. As part of this campaign, we are highlighting the stories of the electric vehicle transition across the state. By sharing these stories via video, social media, and community events, we can change the awareness around the electric vehicle transition already happening. Do you, or someone you know, drive a van, truck or bus? Are you a student, parent, or community member who wants cleaner air? All it takes to tell your story is to speak from the heart, and by adding your voice you can help make Minnesota a climate majority.

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.


Thank you, 

The undersigned. 


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


The Alliance

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

Fresh Energy 

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


Move Minnesota

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

Vote Climate

Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc