Release 93-3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      CONTACT:    Jerry Martin
February 4, 1993                                                                                                  (916) 322-2990

ARB Approves First Van, Truck Engine to 1998 Tailpipe Emission Standard

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has certified the cleanest van and truck engine ever, one that is as low-polluting as many passenger cars and meets emission limits five years ahead of schedule.

        Chrysler Corporation's 5.2 liter (318 cid) V-8, powered by compressed natural gas, will be used in its 7500 pound Dodge B350 Ram Van and B350 Wagon models. Although the engine will go on sale in 1993 models, its emission are low enough to meet standards set for 1998.

        The engine is a unique combination of cleaner-burning compressed natural gas and emission control technology normally found on an automobile, including multiport fuel injection and three-way oxidation catalyst. Although the same combination was used in 1992 models, the 1993 version is guarantee to meet emission standards for twice as long, up to 120,000 miles instead of 50,000, making it the first ever to be certified to the ARB's Low Emission Vehicle category.

        The vehicle can carry 1316 standard fleet of compressed natural gas, equal to the energy of 12 gallons of gasoline, and have a driving range of 140 miles per tank, enough to meet everyday commuter driving needs.

        In approving the certification papers, James D. Boyd, ARB executive officer said, "This is the first engine to meet the ARB's tough 120,000 mile Low Emission Vehicle standard for larger vehicle and it meets that standard more than five years ahead of the schedule set by the ARB less than three years ago."

        The ARB's 120,000 mile LEV standards for 1998 medium duty vehicles with curb weights between 5751 pounds and 8500 pounds are: .280 grams per mile for hydrocarbon, 7.3 grams per mile for carbon monoxide, 1.5 grams per mile for nitrogen oxides. The Chrysler compressed natural gas engine emits .037 grams per mile of hydrocarbon, .05 grams per mile of nitrogen oxides and 3.1 grams per mile of carbon monoxide.

        "These full-size vehicles are as clean running as light duty passenger cars although they are capable of carrying more people. That combination makes them ideal for ridesharing or for use in vanpools to help remove the single driver from the roads and reduce congestion," he added.

        Boyd noted that San Bernardino County has already places the first order for these vehicles and is now awaiting delivery of 11 of them that will be used in vanpool programs.

        Twenty-five percent of all medium-duty vehicles must meet these LEV category standards in 1998, making them up to 66 percent cleaner than today's models. Also in 1998, 2 percent of medium-duty vehicles must meet Ultra-Low Emission Standards, which require emissions to be reduced an additional 40 percent.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB'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 ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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