Minnesota's new-vehicle emissions standards that follow California regulations were upheld by the state's court of appeals last week after the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association filed a lawsuit last year over its concerns.
The Clean Car Rule sets state vehicle emission standards in line with California Air Resources Board rules, requiring a greater percentage of vehicles supplied by manufacturers to be electric vehicles and hybrids and all new vehicles sold by dealers to meet the coastal state's emission standards. The regulations take effect with the 2025 model year. They were adopted in 2021 by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to help meet the state's environmental goals.
In its complaint against the pollution control agency, the dealers association argued that the Clean Car Rule unconstitutionally delegates rule-making authority to California and that the Minnesota agency did not have the power to make statewide regulations. It also argued that Minnesota could not take on California's standards under federal rules.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected the dealers association's arguments, asserting that the pollution control agency was acting within its power, as outlined by the state legislature, and that the agency did not improperly delegate authority. It also found Minnesota is eligible to adopt California rules.
"From the start we have said that the California car rules are not a good fit for Minnesota," the association said in a statement following the Jan. 30 Minnesota Court of Appeals decision. "The state should be instituting an aggressive policy of building infrastructure and creating incentives for consumers to purchase this new technology."
The dealers association, which has said it believes the changes will lead to a supply of EVs that exceeds consumer demand, said Tuesday it is considering an appeal.
The association filed the court of appeals case in June. It followed another lawsuit the association filed in federal court in 2021, which also failed to block the regulations.
The state Pollution Control Agency on Jan. 30, in a statement, said it was "pleased with today's court decision upholding Minnesota's clean cars standard, which provides drivers with more options to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles that help them save money on gas and address climate change."