Alternative Fuel Conversion Certification Procedures for New and In-Use On-Road Vehicles and Engines

This page last reviewed February 21, 2013


Background

California regulations prohibit the conversion of emission-controlled vehicles to operate on an alternative fuel, such as natural gas or propane, unless the conversion has been evaluated and certified by the Air Resources Board (ARB). If the conversion is done before the legal title has been transferred to an ultimate purchaser the conversion manufacturer is considered the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and must comply with ARB’s new vehicle or engine certification requirements. Conversions done after the legal title has been transferred are considered in-use conversions and must comply with ARB’s alternative fuel retrofit system certification procedures. For an overview of these requirements please view the presentation materials and guidance documents from our August 14, 2012 public workshop located here.

This page provides a list of the most common ARB new and in-use on-road vehicle and engine emission-related regulations and test procedures that manufacturers are required to follow to obtain an alternative fuel conversion certification. Manufacturers are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate certification section prior to submitting an application to schedule a pre-certification meeting to assist them in determining the requirements specific to their application.


Regulations and Test Procedures

For new light and medium-duty on-road alternative fuel conversion certifications the following regulations and test procedures apply:
  • The "California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2001 through 2014 Model Criteria Pollutant Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures and 2009 through 2016 Model Greenhouse Gas Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles." (PDF - 785K)
  • The "California 2015 and Subsequent Model Criteria Pollutant Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures and 2017 and Subsequent Model Greenhouse Gas Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles." (PDF - 1.26M)
  • The "California Evaporative Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2001 and Subsequent Model Motor Vehicles" (PDF - 1,054K)
  • The "California Environmental Performance Label Specifications for 2009 and Subsequent Model Year Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles." (PDF - 243K)
  • 13 CCR §1968.2, Malfunction and Diagnostic System Requirements for 2004 and Subsequent Model-Year Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles and Engines (OBD II). (PDF - 638K)
  • 13 CCR §2035, Purpose, Applicability, and Definitions, 13 CCR §2037, Defects Warranty Requirements for 1990 and Subsequent Model Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, Medium-Duty Vehicles, and Motor Vehicle Engines Used in Such Vehicles, and 13 CCR §2038. Performance Warranty Requirements for 1990 and Subsequent Model Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles, and Motor Vehicle Engines Used in Such Vehicles. (PDF - 56K)

The California certification regulations reference the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) test procedures in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations. These procedures are available from U.S. EPA at their eCFR web page.

For new heavy-duty and incomplete medium-duty on-road alternative fuel conversion certifications the following regulations and test procedures apply:
  • "California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2004 and Subsequent Model Heavy-Duty Otto-Cycle Engines" (PDF - 204K), as of December 31, 2012 (last amended December 6, 2012)
  • "California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2004 and Subsequent Model Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines and Vehicles" (PDF - 464K), as of December 31, 2012 (last amended December 6, 2012)
  • "California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2001 and Subsequent Model Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles", as amended on September 27, 2010 (PDF - 609K)
  • “California Evaporative Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 2001 and Subsequent Model Motor Vehicles,” adopted August 5, 1999, last amended March 22, 2012. (PDF – 1M)
  • 13 CCR §1971.1. On-Board Diagnostic System Requirements--2010 and Subsequent Model-Year Heavy-Duty Engines. (PDF - 557K)

For in-use light, medium and heavy-duty on-road alternative fuel conversion certifications the following regulations and test procedures apply:
  • California certification and installation procedures for certifying retrofit systems designed to convert vehicles to operate on natural gas, propane, or alcohol fuels. (PDF - 1.95MB)

Contacts

For more information regarding new on-road light-duty alternative fuel conversion certification, please email Duc Nguyen, manager, On-Road Light-Duty Certification Section, or phone at (626) 575-6844

For more information regarding new on-road heavy-duty alternative fuel conversion certification, please email Kimberly Pryor, manager, Compression Ignition & Heavy-Duty Certification Section, or phone at (626) 575-6640

For more information regarding in-use alternative fuel conversion certification, please email Tony Martino, manager, Aftermarket Parts Section, or phone at (626) 575-6848

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