SACRAMENTO – Two automakers , Honda and Nissan, have been authorized to begin selling the cleanest gasoline-powered automobiles ever offered in California, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today.
"This shows that modern technology can move even gasoline-powered vehicles toward our ultimate goal of a zero-emission vehicle fleet," said ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. "Tailpipe emissions from these vehicles are eight times cleaner than an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV), the cleanest gasoline-powered automobile currently being sold in California," he added.
The two vehicle models, a Honda Accord and a Nissan Sentra, have been certified by the ARB as SULEVs or Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. Both vehicles will be available for sale during the 2000 model year.
Of the two cars, the Nissan alone qualifies for partial Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credits because it also has zero fuel evaporative emissions and has adopted the ARB's optional 150,000-mile durability and warranty standards on emission control parts.
"Being able to meet SULEV tailpipe standards and zero evaporative emissions was a very difficult task but we did it," said Jason Vines, vice president for external affairs of Nissan North America.
Meanwhile, Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda, said, "The SULEV Accord is yet another example of Honda's long-standing commitment to bringing advances in low emissions technology to the market as soon as they are technically feasible."
The SULEV standard was adopted by ARB in November, 1998 as part of the Low Emission Vehicle II rules that set emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks from 2004 through 2010.
The SULEV is a voluntary tailpipe standard for motor vehicle manufacturers that is one-eighth of the ULEV standard, formerly the tightest standard for internal combustion engines. Honda and Nissan were both able to meet the SULEV standard by using refinements of current emission control technology. A SULEV is more than 99 percent cleaner than uncontrolled models.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.