In the Brainerd lakes region, we love our freedom, our roads, and our cars. We also love saving money. That’s why so many of us are excited about Minnesota’s move to adopt clean car standards. Right now our freedom to buy and drive the cars we want is being blocked by a market that is working against us. A Minnesota Department of Transportation report says there are just 19 models of electric vehicles available in Minnesota, while there are 43 models available in the marketplace as a whole.

Nationally, auto manufacturers are focusing their attention on places that have adopted clean car rules requiring auto dealers to carry more electric vehicle options. These companies are not only bringing more electric vehicle options to these states, but they are investing in upgrading the electric charging infrastructure that will help charge these vehicles.

Right now, car buyers in clean car states have more clean car models to choose from -- including crossovers and SUVs -- and Minnesota should have all those options available for consumers. 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. Ford is planning to soon release an electric F-150 and GMC is looking to do the same with an electric Hummer.

A recent study found that 6 in every 10 prospective car buyers in Minnesota have interest in electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. The survey also found that 66% 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 could find these kinds of electric vehicles in the coming years.

Peg Furshong

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