Jun 29, 2022 - News

Minnesotans are slow to embrace electric vehicles

EV share of vehicle registrations by designated market area
Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The Twin Cities have been slower to adopt electric vehicles than other major metro areas across the country, though local sales are picking up.

Driving the news: In April 2022, only about 2.7% of new vehicle registrations in the Twin Cities were electric, lagging far behind other big metros, according to recent numbers from S&P Global Mobility.

  • Only about 0.4% of vehicles on Minnesota roads as of April were electric, so new sales levels of 2.7% means progress.

State of play: Gov. Tim Walz created a "clean cars" plan requiring manufacturers to deliver more EVs to Minnesota dealers. The Minnesota Auto Dealers Association is suing to block those rules.

  • The rules were modeled after regulations in California, where cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are seeing 20% and 12% of new vehicle registrations as electric, per the new S&P data.

Zoom out: Gas prices are pushing more drivers toward EVs nationally.

  • Globally, more than half of car buyers say they want their next car to be an EV, according to new research from Ernst & Young, writes Axios' Joann Muller.

Yes, but: Minnesotans have been more wary of EVs due to concerns about their range in cold weather and a lack of charging stations.

  • Minnesota is set to get up to $68 million in federal funds over the next five years to expand its charging network statewide.
  • Plus, dozens more (paid) charging stations are coming to Minneapolis and St. Paul as part of a new partnership with an hourly carshare company.

Zoom in: Tesla remains the dominant player here, and it's doubling down on its presence in the Twin Cities with a massive showroom in Bloomington that is under construction.

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