California Bans Small Off-Road Gas Engines, Including Lawnmowers and Chainsaws

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GeeZee

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started this with a question about moving a “banned” engine (lawnmower) to an “unbanned” application (airplane engine). As usual this thread has kind on gone off the rails.…
After reading the actual law it may not even be a legitimate concern. So in the words of the great Rosanne Rosannandana “Never Mind” ;)
 
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proppastie

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new small off-road engines, as defined by the state board. Those regulations shall apply to engines produced on or after January 1, 2024,
 

Derswede

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That is why you will see a sudden jump in propane powered generators. Here in NC. we are seeing a strong push towards propane. Can't wait to see the fallout on propane powered ATVs! Around here, you would think that the riders were in demolition derbies! I see several for sale around me that define the word "Abused". And now you add an external fuel tank....BOOOM!
Derswede
 

GeeZee

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Hmmm, now that’s an interesting thought. I can see some entrepreneurs making propane conversion kits for all this stuff. I’m envisioning SCUBA tank shaped propane tanks in a nice backpack harness with a hose connecting to a chainsaw, string trimmer or leaf blower….
 

TFF

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It might be cliche, but Hot Rods and airplanes are as California as Surfing and Hollywood. Edelbrock moved to Mississippi just recently. That is a big deal in my book. It’s like having the cancer being the preferred outcome for the body. The good stuff has to leave. Buying 100LL will be next. For a short time on the late 80s I got to do a Thomas Magnum and bum a small beach house at Laguna from some relatives. I should have stayed longer; they weren’t anywhere near kicking me out. That is California. As someone who always wants the California Dream, don’t tell me about reality. I know in my heart.
 

cluttonfred

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Sigh...agreed, enough with the chest-thumping. Will something like this impact homebuilt aircraft owners and builders in California? Possibly, it depends what the law actually says and how it's interpreted. Will it spell the end of aircraft homebuilding in the state of California? Highly unlikely.

If anything, this should be a nudge to many of us to think about alternative approaches. As electric vehicle technology progresses, I wouldn't be surprised to see a partial or total ban on fossil fuels in my lifetime and I absolutely expect one in my children's lifetimes. An electric Pietenpol would still be a hoot to fly, just quieter and cleaner.

YMMV.

Let's try and steer clear of politics please.

Using words like "steal" gets us into contentious territory.
 

AJLiberatore

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California moved one step closer to ending reliance on fossil fuels as Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law on Sunday to ban all off-road gas-powered engines.The new law requires the state to apply the new rule by Jan. 1, 2024, or as soon as regulators determine is “feasible,” whichever date is later, according to the bill”I wonder if it will still be banned if you convert one to “an airplane engine” ?
That's the Million $ question. FWIW the old Econ axiom, the most effective changes are around the margins. Let me away from off the Off-Road for a second and I'll get back to it, When I heard a 2 stroke leaf blower / weed wacker polluted more in one day than driving a state of the art SUV either cross country or a lot of miles, upgrades to this sector rather than needling the Big 3 again made more sense. With that said, and I get pricepoint issues, however gaseous powered lawn type equipment ( or EFI / Cats ) would have been a natural progression other than unit cost and availability of fuel stations for these fuels. With Solid State Batteries are almost here, a contractor with a EV Pickup could become a charge station for battery replacement for said lawn care tools for their crews as they go from customer to customer.

Back to off the road, does that mean any or all off road Dune Buggy / ATV / Dirt Bike etc etc. Does that negate any restored vehicles such as an old Elsinore 125 etc. How are they defining this, and yes will they make the jump to Gen-Av. I am very aware of and predicted the likes of an Edelbrock leaving the state, you could see that coming. Talk to some old school Californians that grew up their in the 60's, I have one in my circles, it was paradise, many are horrified as to what the state has become.

It will take some clever engineering to overcome their dictates or will the experimental / ultralight umbrella give us sollice from their march towards controlling everything....
 

ToddK

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I understand the desire to keep politics out, but the truth is that when the day comes and some of us are grounded because our sort of avation is "unsafe" or because they dont like our engines, or their fuel, or their noise or because we cant afford any of it due to taxes and fees, we all know EXACTLY which side of the political spectrum it will come from. Whats sad is that some of us will just accept it, explaining to the rest of us why its really a good thing, and then protest when anyone calls them out on the stupidity of it all, and names those who are responsible for the mess.
Its hard to hide from politics when politicians keep kicking down the door and telling us to grab our ankles, and that what is about to happen is for our own good.
 

trimtab

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The legislation has a lot of wiggle room for pushing back implementation of entire categories of equipment sales, possibly indefinitely. I imagine that will happen as soon as it dawns on a few legislators as they slowly realize while sipping bubble teas and getting their hair done that battery powered generators might prove challenging. Or battery powered chainsaws. Then they'll take lobbyist cash to issue exemptions. They'll also take full credit for their bombshell observations, and remind fundraising events that their cleverness is why they deserve to make the big bucks.

But there will be transborder influx of equipment from neighboring states. The law does not address use, just purchase.

The implications for aviation are small without federal input. The NOx emissions near LAX are positively staggering, and the particulate emissions are off the charts for example...to the point that I wonder if the people that work there have their lives shortened in the same way that residents of Beijing or Delhi do. Reading the mitigation reports is hilarious...focusing on tugs and trucks, and showing almost zero mitigation by addressing those with lower emission versions, and totally ignoring the hundreds of thousands of pounds of jet A combusted every day there for taxi. The groups compiling these reports probably wish they were digging holes out back and filling them in again given the meaningfulness of their efforts.

Small aircraft are just a random target in a big world of meaningless random targets to point the finger at. I'd give it 20 years before it sinks in that none of those random targets will make a dent in where things are going, and the things that will actually make a difference will remain sacred until then.
 

tspear

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Or battery powered chainsaws.
I thought battery chainsaws would be a joke for at least a few more years. However, I had a neighbor have two trees taken down by professional crews at the end of last week. I was curious why it was much quieter than normal when tree crews are there. So I wondered over, and they were using battery powered chainsaws.
Each worker had a couple spare batteries, they had charging packs hooked up in the truck.
I asked why? The answer was less maintenance, less hassle, and easier to keep charged than fueled.
The batteries are also swappable with all the other equipment they have.

Tim
 

trimtab

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I thought battery chainsaws would be a joke for at least a few more years. However, I had a neighbor have two trees taken down by professional crews at the end of last week. I was curious why it was much quieter than normal when tree crews are there. So I wondered over, and they were using battery powered chainsaws.
Each worker had a couple spare batteries, they had charging packs hooked up in the truck.
I asked why? The answer was less maintenance, less hassle, and easier to keep charged than fueled.
The batteries are also swappable with all the other equipment they have.

Tim
Sure, but growing up in a logging family, there is no way I could have worked with today's battery tech back then. Large saws for felling, WOT for 45 minutes easy out of each and every hour. Landscaping is one thing. Making raw materials for building homes is another.

I'd like to see a move towards battery powered stuff, yes, despite the waste stream and other issues. But chemical ICE energy is the only viable tech at the moment for many applications. I think there will be broad cutouts for those areas. And it's CA, home of the manicured lawns and eyebrows in the desert.
 

Hot Wings

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while sipping bubble teas and getting their hair done that battery powered generators might prove challenging. Or battery powered chainsaws.
Hate bubble tea. Waste of good Dargeeling and tapioca belongs in pudding.
I am actually considering buying a battery powered chain saw. Very handy for small work and no more cut cord from a random one handed kickback. :oops:

Battery power has also come to the yard service area in a big way. As mentioned above it is related to training and maintenance allowing an overall increased efficiency for the crews. There is no down time for a flooded 2 stroke, a broken starter rope or a trashed unit because the kid put in fuel from the wrong can. A trained and experienced crew is still faster with gas power.

Unburned HCs? How about that match lite charcoal setting on a pallet out in the sun?

Just to keep it aviation related - I'd much prefer a battery powered nose wheel tug rather than one with a 2-stroke.
 

BJC

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and totally ignoring the hundreds of thousands of pounds of jet A combusted every day there for taxi.
I don't understand why the major airlines haven't already started using electric (or even propane) tugs to get their airplanes to the departure area before starting all engines, just to save jet fuel and run time of the engines.
Small aircraft are just a random target
Small aircraft are owned by the" wealthy", and are useful targets to gain support of the "working class". You and I know that it isn't necessarily true that all GA pilots are wealthy, but that will be the argument to rally the working class to support their favorite politician.


BJC
 
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