History was made at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hearing last Thursday, May 28, 2009. The board adopted rules for the certification and sale ofMessage 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2009View SourceHistory was made at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hearing last Thursday, May 28, 2009. The board adopted rules for the certification and sale of plug-in conversions of hybrid vehicles, thereby legitimatizing the physical process that we at CalCars started five years ago and that eaa-phev.org has been all about. We commend the CARB, along with the rest of California's government, for being vigilant about continuing to clean our air while supporting and legitimatizing the nascent plug-in vehicle conversion business that could grow to become the most effective means for California, national, and worldwide reductions in oil consumption and transportation greenhouse gas emissions for the next two decades.
Though of course no one got everything they wanted, the board did modify their staff's latest proposal in two ways very helpful to conversion businesses before accepting it. I, along with several conversion kit companies, testified. Two people from 3Prong Power spoke, about the big picture and about how the pollution potential of larger than staff-recommended numbers of Tier 1 and 2 conversions could be minimized by retrofitting them to Tier 3 once the manufacturer has received a Tier 3 certification.
A main point of my testimony was that HEV-to-PHEV conversions are important not only for all the usual reasons, but also because they presage the coming ICE-to-PHEV conversions that have the prospect of ramping up to significantly reduce the oil consumption of the nation's existing fleet of 250 million light vehicles far sooner than we can possibly replace them with new plug-in vehicles.
John White of Hymotion responded, when asked, that they currently have around 480 conversions in California, but that they have 3800 more orders as well as potentially tens of thousands of more yet as part of the stimulus package's 'Clean Cities' program, which requires CARB to act immediately because those conversions must be certified by California or the federal government, which doesn't yet have a certification program at all. This forced the board's hand in acting immediately.
Though the board acted directly only upon Hymotion's testimony to decrease the warranty requirement for a supplemental conversion battery from 10 to 5 years, I believe everyone's efforts were of value. The other change the board made was to increase the number of conversions that could be sold under the laxest Tier 1 rules from just 10 to 50. Tier 2 is then vehicle #51-100, after which full testing, warranty, and durability assurance requirements apply.
Here are a few comments we have gathered since and about Thursday's ruling:
Daniel Sherwood of 3Prong Power wrote:
3prong Power Inc was very pleased that the CARB board recognized the unique potential of Plug In Hybrids and was willing to allow for unprecedented flexibility in their certification process to encourage small innovative California businesses such as ourselves.Carolyn Coquillette owner of Luscious Garage wrote:
Luscious Garage recognizes the Air Resources Board for its participation in the plug-in hybrid movement, promoting the technology's march from demonstration to production, and protecting Californians against conventional criteria pollutants as well as carbon dioxide.Frank Kuchinski of Poulsen Hybrid, LLC (an ICE-to-PHEV conversion company) wrote:
The plug-in hybrid conversion industry wants to be a part of President Obama's goal of putting one million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015. In the future, regulations for ICE conversions need to be balanced so that this goal is obtainable.
-- +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ron Gremban, Technical Lead, California Cars Initiative, a nonprofit organization rgremban@..., http://www.CalCars.org Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news Moderator, PRIUS+ PHEV Conversion Group, http://www.PriusPlus.org Forum: http://www.eaa-phev.org/wiki/Maillist +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++