Letter to the editor: Opposition to Minnesota Clean Car Standard is about maintaining dealer profits

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Detroit Lakes Tribune by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Detroit Lakes Tribune. To submit a letter, email or mail it to Detroit Lakes Tribune, 511 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.

The Clean Cars Minnesota initiative would encourage automakers to sell more hybrid and electric vehicles in the state, like this 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring. The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce has joined a call to have implementation of such standards delayed. (James Halfacre/Honda/TNS)

To the editor:

It's clear that Scott Lambert and the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association have issues with the proposed Minnesota Clean Car Standard - they even sued the state to halt its adoption. Seems like a silly decision given that the standard will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that contributes to respiratory diseases across our state while doubling the number of electric vehicle options available to consumers.

Today, it is not that easy in Minnesota to purchase an electric vehicle. I own an EV and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and I knew far more about them than the dealer salespeople I talked to. It was difficult finding many EV options on their lots and the latest models are not sold in this state because of our lack of a Minnesota Clean Cars Standard.

The real reason for their lawsuit is far more interesting than the litany of excuses in his latest letter to the editor - according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, more than 50% of a dealer’s profits come from service. Electric vehicles have only 20 moving parts in their drivetrain versus 2,000 in an internal combustion engine. With no oil, transmission fluid, belts and other maintenance items to replace, there is little reason for EV owners to visit a dealership’s service center.

Many new electric SUVs as well as two full size electric pickup trucks will soon be introduced, but good luck finding many on Minnesota dealer’s lots, if their lawsuit is successful.

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