In an effort to encourage innovation and spur the use of systems that would allow vehicles to run on alternative fuels including natural gas and electricity, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the streamlining of the fuel conversion system approval process.

EPA is proposing to streamline the process by which manufacturers may demonstrate that aftermarket conversion systems that allow gasoline or diesel vehicles to operate on alternative fuels comply with vehicle and engine emissions requirements. The new options would reduce some economic and procedural impediments to alternative fuel conversions. The proposed rule would cover conversions of light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty highway vehicles and engines, and would apply to all clean alternative fuels, EPA said.

Under the proposed approach, compliance requirements would vary based on the age of the vehicle or engine being converted. Requirements would be based on whether a vehicle or engine is deemed to be new, intermediate-age, or outside its expected useful life.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposal until July 23.

There is broad backing among Senate leaders for legislation that would streamline the aftermarket vehicle conversion process, according to one lawmaker (see Daily GPI, March 25).

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