MnDOT 'Decarbonization' Study Calls for Electric Vehicles

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MnDOT 'Decarbonization' Study Calls for Electric Vehicles

September 25, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation Sept. 18 released Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation in Minnesota, a new report that aims to get the State of Minnesota on track to meet future goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical to MnDOT’s vision of maximizing the health of people, the environment and our economy,” said Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “I’m proud of the proactive efforts our team has taken to engage the public and other agencies in this discussion, and develop meaningful actions and recommendations that will help Minnesota achieve a low-carbon transportation future.”

The Pathways report includes a number of action items that MnDOT will pursue, including the creation of a Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council, regional collaboration on electric vehicle corridors, and analyzing GHG emissions in transportation projects.

Pathways makes additional state-level recommendations, including adoption of clean car standards that would require auto manufacturers to offer more models of EVs in Minnesota to improve consumer choice and help build the market for new and used EVs in the state.

To obtain public input on the topic, the Great Plains Institute facilitated meetings across the state and provided an online survey and webinar for additional feedback. Several themes emerged, including:

  • A recognition of the climate crisis and a need for swift action
  • The need for more transportation options
  • Environmental justice and equity to be at the center of climate action
  • Integration of transportation solutions with energy creation, land use choices and state/local policy

“Decarbonizing transportation in Minnesota will capitalize on the state’s resource base, history of technology innovation, and extraordinary market momentum toward cleaner mobility options,” said Rolf Nordstrom, President and CEO at the Great Plains Institute. “The report reflects the desire of residents across Minnesota for clean transportation, including building electric vehicle infrastructure and bolstering biofuels. Both rural and urban Minnesotans will see economic opportunity in this report.”

“Minnesotans are concerned about climate change and want to see meaningful action,” added Will Seuffert, Executive Director of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. “With the transportation sector now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, this report lays an important foundation for advancing low-carbon transportation options.”

Pathways was funded by MnDOT and the Environmental Quality Board, and the project steering committee included the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Department of Commerce. Staff from the McKnight Foundation provided technical expertise; Energy and Environmental Economics conducted modeling; and the Great Plains Institute facilitated stakeholder and public engagement.

The full Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation in Minnesota report, prepared by MnDOT’s Office of Sustainability and Public Health, is available at:

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