Today I put the Minnesota license plates on Maxie the Ford C-MAX Energi.
Goodbye, Massachusetts EV. Hello, plain vanilla Minnesota vehicle.
The occasion does feel just slightly momentous.
It’s not that I have been avoiding the 4 minutes’ labor required to swap out the out-of-state plates. But driving around with those badges from Massachusetts seemed to me to confer a certain blanket immunity for not knowing where I was going. Perhaps a temporary free pass from all Minnesota Nice, all the time.
When I would need to pull a U-turn because I overshot, or would find myself suddenly in the wrong lane, a little wave and a weak smile said “Sowwy, I didn’t know: I’m from Massachusetts!”
That thin veneer of protection — if it ever existed at all — is gone now.
The old plates, as you see, were distinguished by an EV designation. Maxie is a plug-in hybrid. Massachusetts is trying to encourage more of that. We were told that at some point soon, cars without such plates will begin to be ticketed if they park at a charging station. A nice perk in theory for driving an EV, but we were gone before it came into effect.
I assume that Minnesota also wants to encourage the energy savings that plug-in vehicles represent. But this state doesn’t offer EV plates yet. The RMV clerk seemed surprised when we asked and a thoughtful look came into his eye. So we perused the somewhat dizzying selection of special-interest plates available and in the end decided to go plain-Jane.