Release 94-1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT:    Jerry Martin
January 6, 1994                                                                                                    (916) 322-2990

ARB Ceritifes First Ultra Low Emission Vehicle

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has certified the first vehicle to meet its 1997 Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards for passenger cars and light duty trucks.

        The compressed natural gas-powered, 1994 Chrysler minivan was approved for sale in California more than three years ahead of its required 1997 debut date, with emissions of smog-forming pollutants less than one-half of those allowed by the ULEV limits. Chrysler's van was certified with emissions of smog-forming hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides of .021 gram per mile and 0.04 gpm, respectively, compared to standards of 0.05 and 0.4 gpm. Carbon monoxide emissions from the van are 0.35 gram per mile, compared to a standard of 2.2 gpm.

        The van's emission levels remained far below the standard during 100,000 miles of ARB-required testing, contrary to emission increases commonly expected from gasoline-powered vehicles as their pollution control systems deteriorate with accumulated mileage.

        The Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager vans are equipped with V-6, 201-cubic inch, compressed natural gas engines that use three-way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and sequential multi-port fuel injection to limit emissions.

        In presenting Chrysler with its certification during the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jacqueline E. Schafer, Air Resources Board chairwoman said, "These vans demonstrate that California's strict auto emission limits can be met and that American's automotive engineering leaders can build low-polluting engines that will continue to run clean throughout their useful life on the road.

        The Air Resources Board emission standards require new cars built in 1994 and later to be between 50 percent to 84 percent cleaner than corresponding EPA emission standards for the same model years. The ULEV standard is the most stringent, except for the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standard for what is likely to be electric models, and is 84 percent stricter than the EPA's .25 gpm hydrocarbon limit for 1997 vehicles.

        The ARB's emission standards require 2 percent of all new cars sold in California to meet the ULEV standards by the 1997 model year, rising to 15 percent by 2003. Because of the stringency of the ULEV standard, it is possible that many of the vehicles built to meet it will be powered by alternative fuels. Based on the ARB's new car sales projections for 2003, there could be as many as 250,000 vehicles required to meet the ULEV emission standards by that model year.

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