A recently ratified law in California will ban the sale of new, small off-road engines in the state as soon as January 1, 2024. These are the types of powerplants in lawnmowers and leaf blowers. However, the current wording also affects the built-in generators in RVs. Many businesses are upset about this new regulation, and the California RV Dealers Association is pushing for things to change.

Built-in generators are a very common accessory for motorhomes, so potentially not being able to purchase a vehicle with them in California starting in 2024 is a big deal.

The California RV Dealers Association is pushing for an exemption for built-in RV generators in this law. It wants members of the motorhome industry to call into a California Air Resources Board meeting on December 9 to explain why this regulation poses such a huge problem to them.

"The big disappointment in this to me is the people who run the individual manufacturing companies don’t know anything about what’s going on,” California RV Dealers Association Director David Tenney told RVBusiness. "The few presidents and CEOs that I have talked to are completely in the dark."

The California law says that "there are zero-emission equivalents to all [small off-road engines] regulated by the State Air Resources Board." However, critics of the regulation note that while this technology exists, these solutions are often significantly more expensive than existing, combustion-powered options. Also, current battery packs for this purpose take far longer to recharge than re-fueling an engine would be.

In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order stopping the sales of combustion-powered passenger vehicles in the state in 2035. This also affects dirt bikes, UTVs, or other equipment you'd use off-road. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles must have zero-emissions powertrains by 2045.

New York responded to California's combustion vehicle ban by passing a similar regulation that also begins in 2035.

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