Posted by David Connelly

American Automobile Association

Amber Backhaus, Vice President of Public Affairs, MN Automobile Dealers Association spoke to us this week about clean car regulations currently being proposed in the State of Minnesota.  Amber currently leads the advocacy efforts for the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA), a trade group representing Minnesota’s 370 franchised new car and truck dealers. 

In 2019 Governor Waltz proposed the idea of a clean car initiative, instead of a discussion of the regulations going to the legislative branch, the rules for are being put together by the Pollution Control Agency. Mrs. Backhaus explained there are two types of car air quality models. A standard placed by the federal government and the California standard. Governor Waltz proposal would shift Minnesota from the federal guidelines to the stricter California guidelines. 

The California air quality guidelines are great at looking to solve California’s bad air quality. Mrs. Backhaus argues Minnesotans have different needs and wants than those of California drivers. First, we like to drive larger vehicles. 80% of all sales in Minnesota are trucks and SUVs. Higher regulations could limit the number of larger vehicles that are delivered and sold in MN. A Minnesota winter is hard on electric vehicles. Along with a poor supply chain of charging stations, electric vehicles make up only 1% of car sales annually in Minnesota.  

Amber Backhaus believes there are many threats that this shift in regulation could cause trouble for many of our local auto dealers. If you would like to know more about what effects it could have locally, I suggest you walk into Harry Browns and ask our good friend Keith Kramer his thoughts on Amber Backhaus’s presentation.