At its hearing on Thursday, December 9, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed Resolution 21-13-2 (as amended at the hearing) to approve the proposed amendments to the Small Off-Road Engine (SORE) regulation. The SORE regulation applies to all spark ignition engines less than 25 horsepower. All gas and LP-powered RV generators are impacted by the regulation; diesel RV generators are exempt. The amendments approved by CARB will ban the gas/LP engines traditionally used in RV generators, effective with the 2028 certification model year. Despite efforts by the RV Industry Association and others to have RV generators exempted from the regulation, the ban was approved by the Board as proposed by CARB staff. As discussed below, the resolution was modified at the hearing to reflect the RV industry’s concerns.
“We are appreciative to the many representatives of the RV industry, including manufacturers and suppliers, the RV Industry Association, the RV Dealers Association, and the California RVDA, who testified during the hearing on the proposed amendments and the need for different treatment for the fixed-mount generators in RV,” said RV Industry Association Director of State Government Affairs Michael Ochs. “The education that we did with Board members and staff prior to the hearing did result in several Board members expressing their worries about the challenges that lie ahead for the RV industry in complying with the ban.”
Though the proposed amendments were not revised at the hearing, the Board did direct staff to report annually on the status of compliance and the progress being made (or not being made) in developing zero emission solutions. Staff was also directed to issue a more detailed technology readiness assessment in the 2025-2026 timeframe. If this readiness assessment finds that the technology needed for compliance in 2028 is unlikely to be available, consideration will be given to adjusting the timeline.
It is important to note that, starting in 2022, the regulation will make it possible for RV manufacturers and suppliers to earn and bank credits by offering alternatives to traditional SORE-powered generators. To have the credits recognized by CARB, companies providing zero emission solutions (whether they are RV manufacturers or suppliers) will need to certify the system with CARB. These credits can be generated in the 2022-2027 timeframe. When traded or sold to traditional gas/LP SORE manufacturers, the credits can be used to offset compliance deficits incurred through the sale of SOREs that are not zero emissions. This credit program has the potential to defer the 2028 ban to 2032.
Along with CARB, the RV Industry Association will continue to monitor the progress generator manufacturers are making in developing zero emission alternatives to SORE-powered generators and work with our members to educate them on the new credit program and the opportunities it presents.
A copy of the SORE regulation as amended and all relating rulemaking documents can be found here.
Anyone having further questions about the ban should contact Michael Ochs, RV Industry Association Director of State Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.