Minnesota becomes first Clean Cars state in Midwest

Minnesota Wins Clean Cars


Clean Cars Minnesota is a huge victory for Minnesotans who care about climate and clean air. On May 7, 2021, Administrative Law Judge Jessica Palmer-Denig recommended full adoption of the rules, meaning Minnesota will be the first Midwest state to adopt Clean Car Standards.

These standards will combat the biggest source of climate and air pollution in our state: the auto industry. It includes two different rules:

  • The Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard makes sure that Minnesota’s gasoline cars keep getting more efficient, despite Trump’s rollback.
  • The Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standard goes one step further and requires car manufacturers to start shifting their Minnesota sales towards emission-free vehicles.

This year, 14,000 Minnesotans made comments in support of the standards. Over 1,400 of those came from the MN350 community. We used stories, fact-based evidence, and a detailed understanding of the standards to tip the scales in favor of the rule passing. To all who supported this endeavor: thank you.

There is more work that needs to be done, but this is a moment for celebration and for sharing the good news.

Implementation & Timeline

The full report compiled by the Administrative Law Judge is available here. 

Here are some of the key points about the implementation and timeline:

  • The rule will likely be implemented in calendar year 2024, which is model year 2025. This is contingent upon the restoration of the California emissions waiver by the Biden administration.
  • Judge Palmer-Denig recommended the MPCA adopt the rules, including the credit banking, as proposed. This means that auto dealers will get credits for early action plus a one-time allotment of credits.
  • Judge Palmer-Denig’s report made clear that the MPCA is within their authority to adopt these standards and the rulemaking process was fair.

This is a great step forward, and shows that Minnesota is ready to lead on climate.