Governor Walz’s California car mandates could cost $81 million in grid upgrades every year

Governor Tim Walz probably doesn’t realize it, but his California car mandates will cost Minnesota families and businesses millions of dollars every year to update the electric grid to accommodate all of the electric vehicles (EVs) he’s mandating onto the Minnesota auto market.

According to research from Boston Consulting Group, each new EV would require a model utility with two to three million customers to invest between $1,700 and $5,800 in grid upgrades per EV through 2030.

Estimates from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency state that the California car mandates would require Minnesota auto dealers to stock 14,000 electric vehicles on their lots every single year. This means Minnesota families would be on the hook for grid upgrade costs ranging between $23.8 million, and $81 million every single year.

The fact that each EV requires massive upgrades to the grid wouldn’t be so bad if the EV driver was paying for it, but this is not how it works. Instead, these costs are paid for by the electric company, which then raises the cost of electricity for everyone to pay for the upgrades, plus a government-guaranteed profit.

This means that the least affluent people in our society are being forced to pay more every month to subsidize vehicles that are often purchased by the most affluent among us. According to federal data, this means rural communities and minority communities who already spend a much higher share of their income on energy will have to pay more for someone who is buying a Tesla.

Amazingly, Governor Walz’s administration refused to even consider the costs of the grid upgrades in determining whether to impose these rules on Minnesotans. Instead, the agency entirely ignored American Experiment’s comment on these additional costs, and said that assessing whether the electric grid would be able to accommodate more EVs was “outside the scope of the analysis.”

It is easy to pretend that the California car regulations will be a net benefit when they refuse to account for all of the costs. The Walz administration is doing our state a grave disservice by ignoring inconvenient arguments that clearly show that the California car mandates are bad for Minnesota families and will have zero measurable benefits for the environment.