California to Introduce Standard Diagnostic System for Electric Cars
California has announced plans to implement a standardised diagnostic system for electric cars by 2026. The new regulations aim to assist independent workshops in identifying and repairing faults in electric motors, batteries, and charging plugs without requiring specialist tools. Currently, independent workshops often need to invest in multiple pieces of hardware and software to diagnose and repair electric vehicles.
Since 1996, all cars sold in California have been required to have an onboard diagnostic system II (OBD2) port, which helps identify faults in vehicles. However, OBD2 is limited in diagnosing electric vehicle-specific issues such as faulty batteries or electric motor failures. The new diagnostic standard will cover all aspects of an electric car’s drive system, including battery packs, charging components, electric motors, and thermal management systems.
The regulations will also require car manufacturers to display battery health data on a menu accessible through the infotainment system or instrument display. This eliminates the need for vehicle owners to have their cars scanned for this information.
Two US electric car manufacturers, Rivian and Lucid, have already implemented some of the 2026 electric vehicle diagnostic system technology. Other brands, such as General Motors and Stellantis, are also working to comply with the new regulations. Additionally, 17 other US states have signed an agreement to adopt California’s new regulations, known as Advanced Clean Cars II.
While it is not yet clear when or if the standardized electric car diagnostics regulations will be adopted in Australia, it is likely that local laws will eventually align with international standards.
The implementation of a standard diagnostic system for electric cars in California will greatly benefit independent workshops and streamline the repair process for electric vehicles. It will facilitate quicker and more efficient fault detection and reduce the need for multiple specialized tools. By ensuring a standardized approach, electric car owners and technicians will have easier access to the necessary information for maintenance and repairs.
Jordan Mulach is a motoring journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for racing and everything automotive, he has previously worked for several renowned publications in the industry. In his spare time, Jordan can be found either driving his Octavia RS or competing in iRacing events.
Source: [Automotive News](https://www.autonews.com/)