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Hybrids exempt from smog tests?

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
Should hybrids be exempt from smog tests (and the fee associated with them)?
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  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    Hi gang,
       Just heard on the 5 o'clock news that the Honda EV, Honda Civic hybrid and the TOYOTA PRIUS will be EXEMPT from bi-annual smog (tailpipe emission) checks in California. Go Prius!
    Congrats to all Prius owners in California.

    mfullmer - Grew up in El Sobrante, still in Contra Costa County.
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • jpricejprice Posts: 58
    That's non-trivial. Aside from the hassle, the smog check runs to over $40 (assuming no repairs are required - then it can run a lot higher.)
    First post to this board - I ordered my Prius in April, it's due in August (maybe September), and the dealer says that when I get mine, it may be an '05. Should I expect any particular differences from the '04?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,475
    In CA there is a movement afoot to do a dyno smog test. In addition to the effort to also have STATE dyno smog testing facilities. They will be keeping the old stationary smog tests due to the fact that 4 wheel drives are not made for two wheel dynos! :) Due to the much higher investments, the new dyno test (done by vendors) will probably cost 100 dollars per test. Not wanting to pass up a revenue opportunity if the state facilities are so equiped they will probably also charge app the same.

    On the other hand, the new governator is trying to increase the fees you pay per year so you don't have to get a smog test for the first six years(?) (TBD obviously). Since the Prius and the TDI are both exempt from either smog tests, you should probably let your representatives know that you do not favor higher fees! :)
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    Hi gang,
       Last year I smogged my '84 Corvette and they performed the "dyno" test on rollers.
      Didn't we have an earlier post alluding to somewhere in the midwest, Kansas, Nebraska or around there where the state was going to impose an "extra fee" on vehicle registrations for hybrids that don't pay as much at-the-pump tax due to high mpg? I wouldn't put it past the state gov't here in California to find some other way to get money. If they can't find it in the right pocket, they'll get it from the left pocket. I hope that the bill that's up before the feds gets passed allowing hybrids to use the "diamond" lanes (high occupancy vehicle) during rush hour regardless of number of passengers. Currently only natural gas powered and selected others are exemptto the number of passengers req'd.
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Nebraska has a special fee for hybrid cars like the Prius, I think it's $75, to make up for loss of revenue from reduced at-the-pump taxes. I don't know if other states have a similar fee.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    That doesn't seem fair. Are you saying if a person buys an extra efficient car, he is penalized to make up for the loss in road tax? I thought less fuel use and lower emissions benefits everyone.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    If your diamond lanes are like ours in San Diego, with limited access. I don't like getting on them, invariably I get behind someone cruising at 55 mph. You are stuck with the rest of the lanes whizzing by at 75 mph. I think the exemption from smog checks on hybrid vehicles is probably a good deal. If people only knew how corrupt that whole smog check system is in CA. they would revolt.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    El Sobrante - Cool. I grew up in Orinda and now live in Atlanta.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Good thinking. Of course they would never ask for an extra fee for all of those people out there driving 15+ year old cars who do most of the pulluting.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,475
    CA (and I am sure other states as well) have a smog exemption if the car hits 20-25? years old. :)
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Yes but cars that are 15 years old, assuming they are taken care of, emit tons more (literally) emissions than even the worst polluter today. In fact, there are documented reports that state that they produce over 50% of the vehicle emissions while only consituting less than 15% of the cars on the road.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I live in a county that failed the EPA air quality measurements. Specifically the failure is particulate pollution. Care to guess the source of 80% of the pollution? The answer is industry and to be specific it is steel mills. While the older cars may emit more and the new cars emit less pollution, the harm to the environment to produce the raw materials to manufacture new vehicles is significant.
    If a Prius replaces a older vehicle that has high emissions is the net effect a decrease or increase in emissions when you consider the emissions that went into the creation of the Prius? I do not have the answer.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,475
    "If a Prius replaces a older vehicle that has high emissions is the net effect a decrease or increase in emissions when you consider the emissions that went into the creation of the Prius? I do not have the answer."

    You highlight one reason why I personally want to go over the 8.5 year average age of the passenger car vehicle fleet and put more than the normal 100-150k miles on! (my own goals 500-1M miles)

    If indeed making new cars is the resource "waster" and all those societal "bad things" that it is made out to be, industry is more than capable to make the platform modular and also longer lasting! So all you have to do is swap out the offending part; such as engine etc etc.

    In answer to older cars polluting more, my 14 year old TLC with 250k was in "total compliance" with the smog test and the laws that governed it. At the 14th year it was actually emitting very very close to when it was brand new!
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    gagrice- I have to believe that the diamond lane policies in San Diego are the same as up here. Do the lanes have the $271 fine for unlawful use?
       As far as the smog tests go, the Prius really doesn't idle and if tested at 1200 rpm on a dyno track, the gas engine may/may not be running.
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Yes $271 is the fine for illegal use. I don't know if that includes going under the speed limit. We only have a few and they are very limited access. The one I go on occasionally is I-15 it switches directions from morning to night traffic. I try my best to stay off the roads during the busy times.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    I see no reason to smog the Hybrids for at least 6 years. Where CA needs to put emphasis is the out of country vehicles that smoke horribly. We get literally thousands of vehicles coming across the border daily from Mexico. That is creating a lot of concern, as they are not subjected to CA emission laws.
  • little_pogilittle_pogi Posts: 148
    Most of those Front BC cars coming into the US may go only a few mile up north of the border then back to Mexico by the end of the day. Assuming all of these non compliant cars are prevented from entering the US, what can prevent that polluted air over TJ from drifting into SD. Reality is, the US has no legal right to apply its laws in another country.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Not only smog drifts across the border. Raw sewage is carried by the ocean currents onto San Diego beaches. The Feds have spent several billion to upgrade the TJ sewer treatment system. The industry across our border is rapidly expanding. One of the problems is their laws are not as strict as ours. Hopefully we will diplomatically convince them it is to all our benefit to clean the air and water.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    OK, I think we have ventured far enough off-topic. Let's not get into border wars / politics.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Okay hybrids aren't exempt from emmisions testing in Tx but they are passing out funds for Innovative Technologies - snip - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) today ((August 12, 2004)) announced the award of $8.3 million in pollution reduction grants under the New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) program, an innovative program created by the Texas Legislature to provide financial incentives to encourage and support research, development and commercialization of technologies to reduce pollution in Texas.
    http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/comm_exec/communication/media/08-04nt- rdgrants.html
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