How Minnesota’s electric car progress compares to the U.S., in three charts

By: - April 14, 2022 10:00 am

Electric vehicles are displayed before a news conference with White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg about the American Jobs Plan and to highlight electric vehicles at Union Station near Capitol Hill on April 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Minnesota drivers have been slow to adopt electric cars, but a potential new Tesla sales center and the state’s forthcoming clean car rule could accelerate the shift.

Electric cars accounted for fewer than 0.4% of registered vehicles in Minnesota last year, according to the state Department of Transportation. Although electric vehicles are less harmful for the environment and can be cheaper long-term than gas-burning cars, drawbacks like shorter driving ranges, high up-front costs and limited numbers of charging stations have stymied electric vehicle sales here.

A planned new salesroom in Bloomington that’s likely a Tesla facility, according to Axios, could entice more car shoppers to go electric and give prospective buyers more options. Electric car availability is limited in Minnesota compared to some states — especially those with low- and zero-emission vehicle rules — which is one reason we have relatively few electric vehicles on the road, experts say.

Minnesota’s clean car rules will also likely spur electric car sales when they go into effect in 2024. The rules, modeled after California policy, will require manufacturers to offer more low- and zero-emissions vehicles for sale here. Other states with zero-emissions standards have experienced faster electric car adoption. 

Here’s more on electric cars in Minnesota, in three charts.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.