EV collage

Some Minnesota leaders want more electric vehicles on the state’s roads, but …

Thornton: “Getting electric vehicles here has been a challenge.”

David Thornton of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it’s hard for people in his state to buy or even test drive electric vehicles, also called EVs. Most dealers are not carrying them yet, and that’s a barrier to getting more on the roads.

Thornton: “When people are not familiar with something new, they’re less likely to adopt it.”

So Thornton’s agency is showcasing EVs at places like the state fair, and the state works with a nonprofit that gives EV owners a chance to show off their cars, sometimes taking people for a ride or even letting them get behind the wheel.

Minnesota is also building more battery charging stations at tourist attractions and on major highways. Thornton says this can help alleviate people’s concerns about where they’d recharge on a long trip.

All this focus on EVs is part of the state’s goal to cut carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050.

Thornton: “If we’re going to be able to even come close to meeting our 2050 emissions reduction goals, we’re going to have to make a big dent in the transportation sector.”

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Bruce Lieberman

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...