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Old 05-22-2004, 06:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hybrids excluded from smog testing in CA!

I was getting my Insight's oil changed at my local shop today and their smog tech told me something interesting. He said that California has officially exempted the Honda and Toyota hybrids from smog testing. He explained that he received this info directly from the BAR and their explanation was that they want to promote the hybrid cars. Yet another benefit of owning an insight. Now we just need to open the carpool lanes to hybrids, and that should come soon.

http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/StdPage.asp ... hybrid.htm
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Now if I could just get New York State to adopt this as well. It now costs $27/year to get an emissions check done (up from $25) and my latest emissions results basically show what a joke it is to have a relatively new hybrid go through these tests:

Code:
Emissions      HC    CO     NOx
Test Limits    0.60  10.00  1.50
Emssions       HC    CO     NOx
Test Results   0.02  0.12   0.07
So even if my NOx emissions were 20 times worse, I would still pass! CO emissions, 83 times and HC 30 times. At the very least, I think they should do what New Jersey does and query the OBDII port to see if there have been any engine problems.

Even before seeing this post, I was thinking of drafting a letter to my state senator who initiated legislation two years ago to grant a $2000 tax credit for hybrid car purchases in the state, also including a photocopy of my emissions results for the last three years, and see if he would sponsor legislation to exempt hybrids from routine emissions checks until they had reached a specific age. Now that California has exempted hybrids until 2010, maybe New York can do the same since we are also a California emissions state and follow the CARB guidelines.
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Old 05-22-2004, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the kicker is this:
"HEV emissions performance cannot be appropriately determined by current Smog Check inspection procedures. BAR plans to create new testing procedures that are specifically applicable to HEVs and will be used beginning in 2010."

This is something I've said before... ferinstance the two-speed idle test is inherently an unfair emissions measure for a hybrid with idle-stop. Powered dyno tests which track emissions across a range of RPM, OTOH, are fair, so long as the car is allowed to idle-stop, which may require specific instructions for the tester.
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