Virtually Emission Free Vehicles Now in California Show Rooms

The auto industry continues to invest billions of dollars in research and development to produce advanced technology vehicles, such as clean diesel, direct injection systems, hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, liquid hydrogen in internal combustion engines and fuel cells.

Published: 04-Jan-2005

SAN JOSE, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Major automakers this week announced a landmark achievement that will help clean the air and protect the environment, as they introduced at the San Jose Auto Show a new generation of vehicles that are 99 percent cleaner than vehicles from 30 years ago.

"The San Jose auto show has the cleanest vehicles ever," said Alliance President & CEO Fred Webber. "These aren't just concept cars that might be available in the future. We're talking about ultra-clean vehicles that are for sale on dealer lots everywhere right now."

The dramatic 99 percent reduction in emissions from cars and light trucks results from a four-part comprehensive strategy that includes cleaning up the fuel going into the vehicle, burning the fuel more precisely in the engine, removing undesirable emissions with a catalyst after the engine, and finally monitoring all of these systems to make sure that clean vehicles stay ultra- clean.

Automakers cooperated constructively with government regulators on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) stringent new "Tier 2" emissions standards, and the result is the cleanest cars, pick-ups, sport utility vehicles, vans and minivans in a generation. Under the stringent Tier 2 emissions standards adopted in 1999, EPA categorized automobiles and fuels as one integrated system. The result was a rulemaking effort that included unprecedented cooperation from the auto and fuel industry.

The auto industry continues to invest billions of dollars in research and development to produce advanced technology vehicles, such as clean diesel, direct injection systems, hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, liquid hydrogen in internal combustion engines and fuel cells.

California has 106 automotive facilities including a production facility in Fremont. With 462,900 auto-dependent jobs, California has the third highest automobile industry employment of any state in the country. California produced 395,083 vehicles in 2003, and the state is now home to the research and design headquarters of several automobile manufacturers.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of nine car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen. For more information on ultra-clean vehicles, visit http://www.autoalliance.org.

                     Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
                         Ultra-Clean Autos Fact Sheet

Ultra-clean cars aren't just a hope for the future; they're a reality now. Today's vehicles are 99 percent cleaner than vehicles of the 1970s. And, automakers continue working hard to develop automobiles that are cleaner and smarter than ever before. Automobile manufacturers spend billions of dollars on research and development every year, more than any other industry in the country.

Technology:

The dramatic 99 percent reduction in emissions from cars and light trucks results from a four-part comprehensive strategy that includes cleaning up the fuel going into the vehicle, burning the fuel more precisely in the engine, removing undesirable emissions with a catalyst after the engine, and finally monitoring all of these systems to make sure that clean vehicles stay ultra- clean.

EPA's Tier 2 Emissions Standards:

In 1999, automakers and the government worked together to adopt the EPA's Tier 2 emission standards -- the most stringent federal emissions standards ever.

The technological achievements of auto engineers are having a tremendous impact in dramatically improving air quality, even as Americans drive more. The reduction in emissions from Tier 2 fuel and vehicle regulations will have the effect of taking 164 million cars off the road.

Clean Fuels:

Today's ultra-clean autos need ultra-clean fuel. Dirty fuels deteriorate catalysts and sensitive electronic sensors on vehicles, making it more difficult to efficiently burn the fuel, and ultimately damaging catalysts. Clean fuels have enabled new advanced technology engine sensors and controls, allowing automakers to install extremely efficient catalysts on vehicles.

Evaporative Emissions:

A significant portion of all hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from the automobile originates from vapors, many of which occur during refueling, and ultimately contribute to smog. Automakers have dramatically reduced evaporative emissions with tighter gaskets, hoses and better gas tanks. In addition, new cars have a control system that captures nearly all of the vapors that occur during refueling. These changes help prevent vapors from escaping into the atmosphere.

Durability:

Due to the improvements in emissions control technology, automobiles today are more durable than vehicles in years past, lasting 120,000 miles. These newer vehicles are equipped with more durable components and computer technology to monitor the vehicles and maintain the emissions control of the vehicles over a longer period of time. Importantly, these more durable systems require less maintenance and save consumers money.

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