Making Choice Easier

EPA modifies conversion kit regulations
By Kris Bevill | May 12, 2011

Citing its support for greater consumer choice at the fuel pump as motivation, the U.S. EPA recently modified regulations for manufacturers of alternative fuel conversion kits to make it easier to sell their products. “Use of alternative fuels opens new fuel supply choices and can help consumers address concerns about fuel costs, energy security and emissions,” the EPA stated in an overview of the modifications. “EPA supports such innovation and encourages the development of clean aftermarket technologies that enable broader transportation fuel choices.”

Conversion systems are used to modify gasoline or diesel engines to run on natural gas, propane, alcohols, electricity or a blend of fuels. Modifying fuel systems is a potential violation of the Clean Air Act, unless approved by the EPA. Previously, a certificate of conformity was required from the EPA to be exempted from the tampering prohibition. The EPA says it now recognizes that not all conversions are the same, and that they vary depending on the age of the vehicle and the type of engine being converted. Therefore, the new regulations, testing and compliance procedures will now differ based on those factors. The EPA says this streamlined, updated approach will save money for conversion kit manufacturers.  —Kris Bevill