This section applies to the grouping of vehicles into test groups within a durability group. The vehicles covered by an application within a durability group shall be divided into test groups based on the following criteria. The manufacturer shall use good engineering judgment in grouping vehicles into test groups.
(a) To be included in the same test group, vehicles must be identical in all following respects:
(1) Durability group;
(2) Engine displacement (within a total band width of 15 percent of the largest displacement or 50 CID, whichever is larger);
(3) Number of cylinders or combustion chambers;
(4) Arrangement of cylinders or combustion chambers (e.g. in-line, v-shaped);
(5) Subject to the same emission standards (except for CO2), or FEL in the case of cold temperature NMHC standards, except that a manufacturer may request to group vehicles into the same test group as vehicles subject to more stringent standards, so long as all the vehicles within the test group are certified to the most stringent standards applicable to any vehicle within that test group. Light-duty trucks and light-duty vehicles may be included in the same test group if all vehicles in the test group are subject to the same emission standards, with the exception of the CO2 standard and/or the total HC standard.
(b) Where vehicles are of a type which cannot be divided into test groups based on the criteria listed above (such as non-cylinder engines), the Administrator will establish test groups for those vehicles based upon the features most related to their exhaust emission characteristics.
(c) Manufacturers may further divide groups determined under paragraph (a) of this section providing the Administrator is notified in advance of any such changes in writing.
(d) Manufacturers may request the Administrator's approval to combine vehicles into a single test group which would normally not be eligible to be in a single test group. The petition should provide:
(1) Substantial evidence that all the vehicles in the larger grouping will have the similar levels of emissions;
(2) Evidence of equivalent component durability over the vehicle's useful life;
(3) Evidence that the groups will result in sufficient in-use verification program data, appropriate tracking in use, and clear liability for the Agency's recall program; and
(4) A statement that all vehicles within a test group are certified to the most stringent standards applicable to any vehicle within that test group.
(e) Unless otherwise approved by the Administrator, a manufacturer of hybrid electric vehicles must create separate test groups based on both the type of battery technology employed by the HEV and upon features most related to their exhaust emission characteristics.
(f) Unless otherwise approved by the Administrator, a manufacturer of electric vehicles must create separate test groups based on the type of battery technology, the capacity and voltage of the battery, and the type and size of the electric motor.