Electricity Laws and Incentives in Minnesota

The list below contains summaries of all Minnesota laws and incentives related to electricity.

Laws and Regulations

All-Electric Vehicle (EV) Fee

EVs are subject to an additional registration fee of $75. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 168.013).

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Requirements

EVSE installed in Minnesota must: 1) be able to be used by any make, model, or type of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV); 2) comply with state safety standards and standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers; and 3) be capable of bi-directional charging once electrical utilities achieve a cost-effective ability to draw electricity from PEVs connected to the utility grid. These requirements may not apply if the installations require significant upgrades. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 325F.185 and 326B.35)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Tariff

Each public utility selling electricity for retail must file a tariff with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to allow a customer to purchase electricity solely for the purpose of charging a PEV, neighborhood electric vehicle, or medium-speed electric vehicle. The tariff must:

  • Contain either a time-of-day or off-peak electricity rate;
  • Allow the customer to purchase electricity from the utility's current mix of energy supply sources or from entirely renewable energy sources; and
  • Be available to the residential customer class.

The public utility will make the tariff available to customers within 60 days of PUC approval. At any time, the utility may make revisions to the tariff based on changing costs or conditions. Each public utility providing a PEV charging tariff must report quarterly to the PUC on the number of customers who have participated in the tariff, the total amount of electricity sold under the tariff, and any other data the PUC requires.

(Reference Minnesota Statutes 216B.1614)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Initiatives

All solicitation documents that include the purchase of passenger automobiles issued under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Administration must assert the intention of the state to begin purchasing all-electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), neighborhood electric vehicles, and NGVs. In order for this requirement to apply, vehicles must meet the state's performance specifications and have a total life-cycle cost of ownership less than or comparable to that of gasoline-powered vehicles. An EV is defined as a motor vehicle that can be powered by an electric motor drawing current from rechargeable storage batteries, fuel cells, or other portable sources of electrical current, and meets or exceeds applicable requirements in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571, and future regulations. A PHEV is defined as a PEV that contains an internal combustion engine and uses a battery-powered electric motor to deliver power to the drive wheels. When connected to the electrical grid via an electrical outlet, the vehicle must be able to recharge its battery. The vehicle must have the ability to travel at least 20 miles powered substantially by electricity. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 16C.138 and 169.011)

Public Utility Definition

An individual, corporation, or other legal entity that resells compressed natural gas as a vehicular fuel or electricity to recharge a battery that powers an electric vehicle is not defined as a public utility. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 216B.02)

State Agency Sustainability Plan and Requirements

Each state department or agency must prepare an annual sustainability plan that includes ways to modify vehicle use practices and report annually on progress towards implementing their plan. Each state agency plan must be based on following targets and mandates:

  • When reasonably possible, state agencies must purchase on-road vehicles that use alternative fuels, including biodiesel blends of 20% (B20) or greater, compressed or liquefied natural gas, ethanol blends of 70% (E70) or greater, hydrogen, propane, or electricity, or (with the exception of buses, snowplows, and construction vehicles) have a fuel economy rating that exceeds 30 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 35 mpg on the highway;
  • When reasonably possible, state employees must fuel vehicles capable of operating on an alternative fuel with that fuel;
  • State agencies must increase the use of renewable fuels derived from agricultural products or waste products; and
  • State agencies must increase the use of technology for delivering information and services in order to reduce reliance on the state's fleet.
(Reference Minnesota Statutes 16C.135 and 16C.137)

State Agency Vehicle Procurement and Management Requirement

When purchasing a motor vehicle, a state agency must select one that is capable of being powered by cleaner fuels, including electricity and natural gas, if the total life cycle cost of ownership is less than or comparable to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

A committee of representatives from the Minnesota Departments of Administration, Agriculture, Commerce, Natural Resources, and Transportation, as well as the Pollution Control Agency, will implement a state fleet reporting and information management system. The committee will submit findings to the governor and appropriate legislative committees on a bi-yearly basis with recommendations for goals, directives, or legislative initiatives to meet these objectives.

(Reference Minnesota Statutes 16C.137 and 16C.138)

State Incentives

Electric School Bus Pilot

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications through October 13, 2020, to partially fund the replacement of approximately six model year 1998-2009 diesel-powered school buses and required charging infrastructure. A total of $275,000, or 75% of the total project cost, is available for the purchase of an electric school bus with charging infrastructure. Eligible applicants include for-profit, non-profit, and public entities that own or operate school buses in Minnesota. MPCA intends to fund 1-2 buses per zone. This pilot program is funded by Minnesota's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including how to apply, see the MPCA Electric school bus pilot project website.

Off-Road Diesel Replacement Grants

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides funding to public, private, and nonprofit fleet owners for the replacement of eligible off-road diesel equipment. Eligible equipment includes trailer refrigeration units, terminal tractors/drayage trucks, and more. MPCA is accepting applications until September 18, 2020. For more information, including how to apply, see the MPCA Diesel Emission Reduction Act website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Toll Credit Pilot Program

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is piloting a three-year program to give a one-time MnPass account credit to eligible PEV drivers for use in MnPass toll lanes. Drivers who purchase or lease a new or used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle receive a $125 credit or a $250 credit for an all-electric vehicle. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2022 to be eligible for the credit.

For more information, visit the MnPass website.

Utility/Private Incentives

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Runestone Electric Association

Runestone Electric Association offers rebates to residential customers of up to $500 for the installation of Level 2 EVSE. To receive the full rebate, eligible applicants must enroll EVSE on a storage electricity rate of $0.469 per kilowatt hour. EVSE not installed on storage rates will receive $250. Application must be submitted within 60 days of purchase. For more information, see the Electric Vehicle website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate and Rate Reduction - Otter Tail Power

Otter Tail Power Company offers a time-of-use (TOU) rate to residential customers with plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The TOU rate only applies to electricity used to charge the PEV.

Otter Tail Power Company also offers a $400 rebate for the installation of a Level 2 EVSE.

For more information, see the Otter Tail Power Company Electric Vehicles website.

Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Connexus Energy

Connexus Energy offers commercial customers a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase and installation of Level 2 EVSE. Eligible applicants include public entities, workplaces, multi-family units, and fleets. For more information, see the Conexus Energy Electric Vehicle website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Incentive - Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy offers an electric vehicle (EV) rate and a time-of-use (TOU) rate to qualified residential customers for charging PEVs. Both rates require a separate meter. For rate information, including how to qualify, see Xcel Energy's EV Rate Options website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction - Connexus Energy

Connexus Energy offers residential customers with PEVs a time-of-use (TOU) rate. A separate meter is required. For more information, see the Connexus Energy Electric Vehicle website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction and EVSE Rebate - Dakota Electric Association

Dakota Electric offers a time-of-use (TOU) rate to members with PEVs enrolled in the ChargeWise program. To be eligible for the TOU rate, a ChargeWise circuit is required.

Dakota Electric also offers a rebate of up to $500 for the installation of Level 1 or Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

For more information, visit the Dakota Electric ChargeWise website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction and EVSE Rebate - LREC

Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) offers a time-of-use (TOU) rate to members with PEVs enrolled in the ChargeWise program. To be eligible for the TOU rate, vehicles must use a separate sub-metered circuit.

LREC also offers a rebate of up to $500 for the installation of Level 1 or Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

For more information, see the LREC ChargeWise website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Wind Energy Promotion - Great River Energy

Great River Energy's Revolt initiative offers the ability to power a PEV with 100% wind energy for the lifetime of the vehicle. The program requires no additional cost, however standard or off-peak rates still apply for the electricity used.

Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebates - Connexus Energy

Connexus Energy offers a $500 rebate to residential customers toward the installation of a qualified Level 2 EVSE. Eligible applicants must enroll in a time-of-use rate.

Connexus Energy also offers a $800 discount on EVSE purchased from the EnergyWise Minnesota store.

For more information, see the Conexus Energy Electric Vehicle website.

Residential Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Pilot Program - Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy offers a pilot program for residential customers who own or lease a PEV. The program provides discounted Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment, installation, and charging costs.For more information, including enrollment, see the Xcel Energy EV Service Pilot website.

More Laws and Incentives

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