EV Vehicle GraphicA bill to create a new state rebate program for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) continues to advance in the Minnesota legislature. The PEV rebate provision was included in Representative Pat Garofalo’s omnibus energy and jobs bill (HF 843) that passed on the House floor on April 22. The bill would offer up $2,500 for anyone purchasing a new PEV.

The PEV rebate provision now enters the conference committee process where differences will be worked out between two large omnibus bills passed by the Senate and House. The EV rebate provision was not included in the Senate version. The bill is being conferenced under the Senate bill number – SF 2101. The rebate language can be found here (lines 157.24-158.12). Technically this language is only present in HF 843 – the House language – eventually there will only be one bill called SF 2101. We would like the confereees to support the House language and thus preserve the EV rebate program.

The following members will be part of the conference committee: Senators Tomassoni (DFL – Chisholm), Cohen (DFL – St Paul), Sparks (DFL – Austin), Jensen (DFL-Owatonna), and Ozmek (R-Mound). House conferees are Representatives Garofalo (R-Farmington), Hoppe (R-Chaska), Newberger (R-Becker), Gunther (R-Fairmont), and Norton (DFL – Rochester).

Drive Electric Minnesota’s policy committee supports creating a PEV rebate program, although there is disagreement about where the funding should come from. This type of policy has worked well in the 18 other states that have similar programs to jumpstart the PEV market by bringing down the upfront cost and allowing more consumers to benefit from lower operating costs. Rebates won’t be necessary for a long time, as costs are expected to come down with advances in battery manufacturing.

This is a big omnibus bill with a lot of different provisions – but for PEV policy, go for the House position!

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