ST. PAUL — Minnesota regulators are offering up more Volkswagen settlement funds than ever before in a bid to swap gas-guzzlers out for electric vehicles.
The state Pollution Control Agency this week announced $5.2 million grant funding for businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations interested in ditching their old heavy-duty vehicles. Roughly two-thirds of that, about $3.5 million, is earmarked for those looking to switch over to all-electric alternatives.
That makes it the agency's largest direct investment in electrification yet, according to spokesperson Mary Robinson. The remaining $1.7 million is meant to help phase out older diesel vehicles in favor of newer and more fuel-efficient ones.
Vehicles targeted for replacement under the new funding round include medium- and heavy-duty trucks, transit and shuttle buses, airport vehicles and forklifts. Applications are being accepted up until Aug. 9, 2021.
Money will come from the state's $47 million settlement with Volkswagen, which Minnesota received as part of a national lawsuit brought against the automaker for cheating on emissions tests. The settlement is due to be paid out over the course of the 10 years that began in 2018.