EPA Seeks to Streamline Approval Process for Fuel Conversion Systems


WASHINGTON – The EPA announced today a proposed rule that would ease requirements on manufacturers to gain approval to sell fuel conversion systems such as for CNG, propane, electric or ethanol, the latter of which possibly being available soon for the small school bus market.

Both Chevrolet and Ford have plans to manufacture medium-duty chassis offerings powered by E-85. EPA’s new proposed rule is the latest effort to encourage innovative and environmentally-friendly conversions and potentially could open the door to additional kits.

Compliance requirements would vary based on age of the vehicle or engine being converted. An EPA statement said that that the compliance process for older vehicles and engines could be streamlined, while maintaining environmental safeguards. As opposed to a one-size fits all approach, requirements would now be based on whether a vehicle or engine is deemed to be new, intermediate-age, or outside its expected useful life.

Conversion systems alter an existing vehicle or engine to enable it to run on a different type of fuel, such as switching a car to run on compressed natural gas. While properly engineered conversion systems can reduce or at least not increase emissions, poorly designed systems can lead to much more pollution. EPA reminds consumers only to use systems that have EPA approval.

Public comments can be made to EPA420-F-10-002 until July 23 of this year.