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California ARB proposing adopting Federal Tier 3 elements in LEV III regs

The California Air Resources Board is proposing changes to its LEV III regulations (earlier post) that include the adoption of a number of elements of the Federal Tier 3 regulations (earlier post). Additionally, ARB is proposing revisions to hybrid electric vehicle test procedures. ARB will hold a half-day workshop in El Monte, California on 30 May to discuss the proposals.

The major element of the Tier 3 regulations that ARB is proposing adopting is a section on testing that would allow manufacturers to continue to use a single set of test procedures to certify vehicles for both California and Federal requirements.

Other elements include modifications to the specifications for California LEV III certification gasoline and a provision to allow LEV III vehicles to be certified using Federal Tier 3 certification gasoline as an alternative to California LEV III certification gasoline for both exhaust and evaporative emissions testing.

ARB staff is also proposing aligning key portions of the Tier 3 evaporative emissions standards and test procedures. These include a new leak standard for evaporative emissions control systems; updates to the US06 particulates standards; and some minor changes to better harmonize the two sets of rules.

The proposed changes to hybrid testing are designed to reduce test burdens on the manufacturers. Developed in cooperation with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry, the proposed changes include:

  • Simplification and streamlining of test procedures;

  • Improved harmonization with SAE J1711 test method and Federal testing requirements; and

  • ARB’s in-house testing of 5 plug-in hybrids to evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed amendments.


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