Proposed Ban on Gas-Powered Small Off-Road Engines?

Frequently Asked Question

The California Air Resources Board is considering a rule to promote the use of zero-emission equipment. Here’s answers to frequently asked questions.

Q. What are the highlights of the California Air Resources Board’s proposed rule?

  • No gas-powered landscape equipment to be sold in California starting model year 2024
  • Generators to be electric only by 2028
  • Rule also applies to pumps, pressure washers, golf carts and other equipment under 25hp

Q. Didn’t Assembly Bill 1346 put this proposed ban in place?

It did not. AB 1346 directed the California Air Resources Board to engage in rulemaking to phase out gas-powered small off-road engines no earlier than 2024 or whenever was feasible. CARB had been working on a proposed rule for the last few years.

Q. What about my existing gas-powered equipment? Can I still use it?

The proposed rule does not ban use of existing gas-powered equipment. You can continue to use existing gas-powered equipment but under the proposed rule, no new gas powered equipment can be sold starting with model year 2024.

Q. How can I share my concerns about this proposed rule?

Please send in your comments to the California Air Resources Board. Each one is read and provided to the members of the board who will be voting on this proposed rule. Submit your comment here by November 29.

Q. Heard there is $30 million to help with the transition to battery powered equipment. Will that be enough to help incentivize transition to electric equipment?

The Legislature set aside up to $30 million to help cover costs of transitioning to new electric equipment, but it is nowhere near enough. According to CARB, there are nearly 2 million pieces of gas-powered equipment used by professionals and with $30 million set aside, that equals $15 per piece of equipment. It is important to note that no formalized incentive or rebate program from CARB has been put forward.

Q. How much of this equipment is used by professionals (landscapers, grounds maintenance crews and the like) vs. residential users?

Per the data from CARB, 85 percent of this equipment in California is owned by residential users. Professional users account for only 15 percent.

Q. Does CLCA support electric equipment use?

We sure do! However, in talking with our landscape maintenance members, they report that most of the zero emission equipment is not yet ready to handle the workload of a full workday. Battery life is woefully short, meaning each piece of equipment would need four or more extra batteries to get through a full workday. Our members also report issues with availability of extra batteries and lack of sufficient resources to repair zero emission equipment. Zero emission technology is improving but it’s not there yet.

Q. Where can I read the proposed rule and reasons for it?

You can download and read the proposed rule and supporting documents online. CARB’s initial statement of reasons document is 466 pages. The various supporting documents are also quite large. You can download all of them here.