California Sets the Stage for Standardized Diagnostic Systems in Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been gaining popularity in recent years, offering a greener alternative to traditional gas-powered cars. However, one area where EV technology has lagged behind is in the implementation of a standardized diagnostic system. Unlike their gas-powered counterparts, EVs lack a uniform method for monitoring the health of their components and providing accurate data to owners and service centers.

Recognizing the need for a standardized diagnostic system in EVs, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has taken a proactive approach. Starting in 2026, the CARB’s Advanced Clean Cars II program will require automakers to equip their EVs with a standard diagnostic system, similar to the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) II system found in gas-powered cars. John Swanton, an Air Pollution Specialist at CARB, emphasized the importance of providing uniform and familiar resources for both consumers and service providers.

These new regulations will include a driver-accessible display of the battery’s state of health and charging speed, as well as requirements for independent repair shops to have access to the same information and tools as franchised dealer networks. While these regulations currently apply only to California-certified new zero-emission vehicles, other states that follow California emissions rules may also adopt similar standards, potentially making California the industry standard for EV diagnostic systems.

The implementation of a standardized diagnostic system in EVs will greatly benefit both EV owners and service centers. Similar to gas-powered cars, when an issue is detected, a warning light will provide a clear signal for drivers to have their vehicles inspected. This not only alerts the driver but also assists service centers in promptly identifying and resolving problems.

As EV technology continues to advance, creating a standardized diagnostic system for this rapidly growing field presents unique challenges. However, California’s proactive stance sets the stage for an industry-standard diagnostic system for EVs. With time, EV owners can look forward to a reliable and universal diagnostic system that matches the convenience and effectiveness of those found in their gas-powered counterparts.