Nissan Sentra CA Receives California Environmental Protection Agency Award

Sentra GXE model recognized as world's cleanest gasoline-powered car, qualifying for partial ZEV-credits in California.

Published: 21-Nov-2000

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nissan Sentra CA sedan, certified as the cleanest gasoline-fueled car in the world, today received the 2000 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award from the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The Sentra CA, based on the Sentra GXE model, proves that clean gasoline-powered vehicles can be driven without significant changes in infrastructure. At this time, the Sentra CA (where "CA" stands for "Clean Air") is available only in California because of the statewide availability of low-sulfur fuel. The Sentra CA works in its cleanest state when low-sulfur fuel is used.

Nissan was the only automaker among the nine companies and individuals receiving awards this year. Nissan was singled out for its innovation and success in producing a car with zero evaporative emissions and significantly reduced tailpipe emissions. The Sentra CA meets stringent Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The Governor's Award is the latest recognition given to the Sentra CA and Nissan's environmental efforts. Earlier this month, the Sentra CA received Popular Science magazine's "Best of What's New" award. Last month, Nissan's top environmental executive received the prestigious Climate Protection Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for leadership in developing advanced vehicle technologies that have contributed to significant improvements in fuel economy which includes the technologies used in the Sentra CA.

Nissan recently announced its plans to launch an intense 5-year development program on Fuel Cells at a planned cost of $85 million, mobilizing 300 engineers and technicians. This is just one of the many initiatives exemplifying Nissan's commitment to protecting and preserving the environment.

"The Sentra CA is the latest in Nissan's ongoing efforts to create a symbiosis among people, cars and the environment," said Jim Morton, Senior Vice President, Nissan North America, Inc. "We've been exploring ways to build more environmentally friendly vehicles with electric motors, hybrid gasoline/electric powerplants, fuel-cells and other technologies. The Sentra CA is a gasoline-powered vehicle, just like any other gasoline-powered vehicle on the road, but with one key difference -- the Sentra CA emits significantly fewer harmful agents into the air."

The Sentra CA qualifies for CARB's partial Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credits. It is the only gasoline-fueled car certified to the CARB Zero Evaporative Emissions standard. This means that a Sentra CA is cleaner while in motion than any other gasoline-powered car that sits parked. Parked cars emit air-damaging components into the atmosphere through evaporation. The Sentra CA does not.

"California's leadership in reducing emissions from gasoline powered automobiles is enjoying unparalleled success so far with the development of the Nissan Sentra CA," said CARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. "To be able to market a vehicle with such dramatically reduced emission characteristics would have been unimaginable a decade ago. This demonstrates that automotive ingenuity combined with good public policy can produce stunning environmental results."

Since 1996, regulations have required a reduction in the amount of sulfur in gasoline for sale in California. Catalytic converters, which reduce tailpipe emissions, are inhibited by sulfur, a common agent in fuels. Cleaner-burning gasoline enables catalytic converters to work more effectively and further reduce tailpipe emissions. According to CARB, cleaner-burning gasoline reduces smog-forming emissions from motor vehicles by 15 percent and reduces cancer risk from exposure to motor vehicle toxins by about 40 percent.

A number of key technologies combine to make the Sentra CA environmental performance possible: double-wall exhaust manifolds, a new combustion control sensor, quicker catalyst warm-up (three 3-way catalysts are utilized in the emissions system), new hydrocarbon trap catalysts, a non-return fuel system and use of a special electronically controlled swirl control valve that reduces hydrocarbon emissions in cold and warm start situations.

Aiding in the reduction of pollutants are the radiators of all Sentra CAs, which are coated with Engelhard Corp.'s PremAir(R). As ozone-laden air passes over the radiator, the PremAir coating converts ozone molecules into oxygen. In effect, the air the Sentra CA leaves in its wake is cleaner than the air in front of the vehicle, depending on air conditions.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at or contact the corporate media line at 310-771-5631.

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