Proposed Regulation to Provide Certification Flexibility for Innovative Heavy-Duty Engines and California Certification and Installation Procedures for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Hybrid Conversion Systems (Innovative Technology Regulation)

This page was last reviewed on December 1, 2016.

add description Proposed Innovative Technology Regulation

California must transition to zero and near-zero emission transportation and freight movement technologies to meet its air quality and climate goals. These goals include:
  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030;
  • Reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050;
  • Deploying 1.5 million zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2025, as directed in Executive Order B-16-2012, and the related goal of deploying one million ZEVs and near-ZEVs by January 1, 2023, as codified in Health and Safety Code Section 44258.4(b). The California Sustainable Freight Action Plan also includes a related goal of deploying 100,000 freight vehicles and equipment capable of zero emission operation by 2030; and
  • Meeting federal health-based eight-hour ozone standards, as required, by 2023 and 2031 in the South Coast, which will require a reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions of approximately 70 percent by 2023 and 80 percent by 2031 from today's levels.
While a diversity of new zero and near-zero emission trucks and buses will be needed to meet these goals, the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) comprehensive heavy-duty engine and vehicle certification requirements may deter some manufacturers from developing promising new heavy-duty vehicle technologies, in part because of high initial certification costs and engineering challenges. One element of certification—on-board diagnostic (OBD) requirements—can be particularly resource-intensive, and can pose engineering challenges for some new technologies. OBD is a critical emission control program consisting mostly of added software to identify and address potential engine and aftertreatment failures that can lead to an increase in emissions. The initial challenge of OBD compliance could lead a manufacturer to choose not to develop, or to delay introduction of, innovative new truck or bus technologies that are uncertain to achieve market acceptance.

To address these challenges and encourage additional needed technology innovation, the proposed Innovative Technology Regulation would provide a more flexible short-term certification pathway for the following innovative truck and bus technologies:

New Heavy-Duty Engine Technologies
  • A heavy-duty spark-ignition engine (through the 2021 model year (MY)) or a heavy-duty compression-ignition engine (through the 2024 MY) meeting California's optional low-NOx emission standards;
  • A heavy-duty engine that will be installed in a hybrid heavy-duty vehicle (hybrid engine) through the 2021 or 2024 MY, depending upon whether or not the vehicle is capable of at least 35 miles all-electric range (AER);
  • A heavy-duty engine that meets the proposed ITR's optional low-CO2 emission standards, reflective of a 15 percent CO2 reduction relative to a 2017 baseline engine, through the 2027 MY; and
Hybrid Conversion Systems
  • A hybrid conversion system installed on an ARB-certified vehicle between 6,001 and 14,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or on an ARB-certified engine installed in a vehicle over 8,500 pounds GVWR.
The proposed Innovative Technology Regulation was adopted by the Board on October 20, 2016, with Board direction to address outstanding technical issues via 15-day changes.

For more information, or to discuss the Innovative Regulation with ARB, please contact Joe Calavita, ARB Staff Air Pollution Specialist, at (916) 445-4586. To subscribe to the rulemaking email list serve, click here.
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