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Alternative Fuels -- State Regulations for Minnesota

This page contains selected data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) at the U. S. Department of Energy. Additional details and the latest updates may be found at the AFDC summary page for Minnesota.

Fuel Use

All vehicles (biodiesel blend mandate)

Diesel fuel sold or offered for sale in the state for use in internal combustion engines must contain at least 5% biodiesel (B5). In November of 2011, the commissioners of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and Pollution Control Agency recommended that implementation of the B10 mandate, originally set to begin May 1, 2012, be delayed one year because certain statutory conditions required for the blend increase had not been met completely. Therefore, beginning May 1, 2013, during the months of April through September, diesel fuel will have to contain at least 10% biodiesel (B10). Diesel fuel sold during the remainder of the year will have to be B5.The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and the Pollution Control Agency, in consultation with the Biodiesel Task Force and other technical experts, must submit annual reports regarding the implementation of minimum biodiesel content requirements, including information about the price and supply of biodiesel fuel. The 2013 report must include recommendations for studies and other research necessary to determine the need for continued biodiesel content requirement exemptions. The 2014 report must contain recommendations on whether to continue current mandate exemptions.(Reference House File 2398, 2012, and Minnesota Statutes 239.75 and 239.77)

All vehicles (ethanol blend mandate)

All gasoline sold or offered for sale in Minnesota must contain at least 10% ethanol (E10), or the maximum percent of denatured ethanol the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in all vehicles regardless of model year. Gasoline-ethanol blends must comply with ASTM specification D4814-08b. Effective August 30, 2015, all gasoline sold or offered for sale in the state must contain at least 20% ethanol (E20), unless, by December 31, 2014, ethanol has already replaced 20% of all motor vehicle fuel sold in the state, or EPA has not granted approval for the use of E20 in all vehicles regardless of model year. Certain exemptions apply. (Reference House File 2398, 2012, and Minnesota Statutes 239.761 and 239.791)

State agency vehicles

State agencies must take all reasonable actions to develop the infrastructure necessary to increase the availability and use of E85 and biodiesel throughout the state. Employees using state-owned vehicles are expected to use E85 fuel when operating flexible fuel vehicles whenever E85 is reasonably available. The Minnesota's SmartFleet Committee sets goals for reducing state government consumption of petroleum-based transportation fuels and reports annually on the use of E85 in the state fleet. (Reference Executive Orders 04-10, 2004, and 06-03, 2006)

State agency vehicles (targets)

State agencies must establish interagency teams to develop and implement sustainability goals that reduce state vehicle petroleum consumption. In addition, 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:Using 2005 as a baseline, the state must achieve a 50% reduction in gasoline used to operate state agency-owned on-road vehicles by 2015;Using 2005 as a baseline, the state must achieve a 25% reduction in the use of petroleum-based diesel fuel for state owned on-road vehicles by 2015;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; andState agencies must increase the use of technology for delivering information and services in order to reduce reliance on the state's fleet.(Reference Executive Order 11-13, 2011, and Minnesota Statutes 16C.135 and 16C.137)


Definition (biodiesel)

Biodiesel is defined as a renewable, biodegradable, mono alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel that is derived from agricultural plant oils or animal fats and meets ASTM specification D6751-08. A biodiesel blend is a blend of diesel fuel and biodiesel fuel (between 6% and 20%) for on-road and off-road diesel vehicle use. Biodiesel blends must comply with ASTM specification D7467-08. Biodiesel produced from palm oil is not considered biodiesel fuel unless the palm oil is waste oil or grease collected from within the United States or Canada. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 239.761 and 239.77)

Promotion (biofuels)

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (Department) must pursue available resources to promote and increase the production and use of biofuels in the state. These efforts should include increasing the availability of E85 fuel dispensers and ethanol blends. The Department outlined the federal, state, and local opportunities under this initiative in their report to the Minnesota Legislature entitled Bioenergy Development. (Reference Senate File 2737, 2010)

Funding (idle reduction technologies)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Small Business Environmental Improvement and Auxiliary Power Unit Loan Programs provide low-interest loans up to $50,000 to qualified small businesses to finance environmental projects such as capital equipment upgrades that meet or exceed environmental regulations, including idle reduction technologies.

Tax (alternative fuels)

The Minnesota Department of Revenue imposes an excise tax on the first licensed distributor that receives E85 fuel products in the state and on distributors, special fuel dealers, or bulk purchasers of other alternative fuels. E85 is taxed at the pump at a rate of $0.1775 per gallon, propane is taxed at $0.1875 per gallon, liquefied natural gas is taxed at $0.15 per gallon, and compressed natural gas is taxed at the rate of $2.174 per thousand cubic feet. Gasoline is taxed at the rate of $0.25 per gallon. Fuel excise tax rates are updated July 1 of each year and are posted on the Minnesota Fuel Excise Tax Rates and Fees website. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 296A.07 and 296A.08)

Weight Limit Exemption (idle reduction)

A motor vehicle equipped with idle reduction or emissions reduction technology may exceed the maximum gross vehicle weight and axle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the technology. The vehicle operator must provide documentation that the qualified equipment is installed on the vehicle. (Reference Minnesota Statutes 169.824)