There many different emissions categories. There are different categories for trucks passenger vehicles and low emissions vehicles.
So yes, an electric powered vehicle will fall into a different category than a normal gasoline car. Some states may not even require vehicle to have emissions check if they are electric.
No. US emmissions standards regulate the amount of greenhouse gases, sulfurs, acids, and other chemicals that become airborne once they leave a vehicle’s engine. Since electric cars do not produce gaseous or particulate emissions, these standards do not apply.
However, don’t think that because you can’t see or smell something harmful that something doesn’t exist. It still takes a lot of chemicals and fossil fuels to manufacture a new electric car.
As sylvestergraham said, electric vehicles are classified as zero-emissions vehicles. This is definitely the case when the electricity that charged the batteries was from a renewable source of power.
Also, it does take a lot of energy to manufacture a new vehicle. Thankfully, we don’t have to manufacture entirely new vehicles. We can just put electric motors and batteries in the old ones! Electric motors last a lot longer than internal combustion engines and the batteries can be recycled into new batteries every five years or so.
For meeting smog requirements, owners of converted electric vehicles can do one of two things: they can take it to a regional DMV for a permanent smog exemption or they can go through the normal smog process using an empty toilet paper tube instead of a tailpipe. I met one electric car converter who left the tailpipe on his car for decorative purposes, but most just get rid of it.
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