AP NEWS

Minnesota officials call for 200K electric vehicles by 2030

February 23, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota transit officials envision 200,000 electric vehicles to be cruising down state roads in about a decade, a big jump from the 6,000 now.

The goal for 2030 is part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s plan to tackle climate change and to move away from fossil fuels, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

The agency’s proposal follows a state report last month that found one of the largest greenhouse gas sources in Minnesota comes from personal vehicles.

Tim Sexton, the department’s chief sustainability officer, acknowledged that the call to increase the amount of electric vehicles by 3,200 percent is ambitious. But he said electric car adoption has skyrocketed in recent years.

Less than a decade ago, there were only 418 electric vehicles registered in the state. Since then, Minnesota has seen more than 15 times that amount.

The agency wants to make it more affordable and attractive for people to purchase electric cars. The department is looking into new strategies, such as tax incentives for buying electric cars or bulk-buying programs to reduce costs, according to its report with the state Pollution Control Agency and the Great Plains Institute.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop said Minnesota must address climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in all parts of the economy, including transportation.

“Expanding electric vehicles provides Minnesotans with a big opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health of Minnesotans everywhere,” Bishop said.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org