Release 92-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:          Jerry Martin
April 14, 1992                                                                                                      (916) 322-2990

Air Resources Board Approves Ultra Clean Car For Mass Production

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has certified the lowest polluting, cleanest running car ever for mass production, a Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer that meets some of the state's strict emission standards four years ahead of schedule.

        Although the cars were certified by the ARB as 1993 models, they are the first "ultra-clean" models with actual emissions that are as low as those that will be imposed on 25 percent of all new cars in 1997, when California's emission standards will be 70 percent stricter than similar EPA limits for the rest of the nation.

        The Escort/Tracer are also the first vehicles to meet the ARB's new certification test that demonstrates the durability of anti-smog systems by meeting emission standards for 100,000 miles, double the old standard.

        Certification by the ARB, which sets California's world-leading emission standards, is required before manufacturers can start up assembly lines and produce cars for sale in the state.

        Jananne Sharpless, ARB chairwoman, applauded Ford's effort by noting that "California sets emission standards with the specific intention of forcing the development of technology, which Ford clearly has packaged into a very clean car.

         "This car shows just how far you can stretch today's technology to get maximum clean air benefits and is certainly a sign that our long-term emission standards are feasible as more advanced pollution control are developed.

         "Ford has clearly set an example for other car makers who need to meet the public's demand for environmentally superior products."

        The Escort/Tracer uses the most modern catalytic converters available, as well as a pair of heated oxygen sensors and more precise fuel injection to monitor air and fuel. All combine to lower emissions by improving pollution control when the car is first started. These so-called "cold start" emissions are the most polluting part of any automotive trip.

        Because of that technology, emissions of smog-forming hydrocarbon are 0.062 grams per mile, compared to the 1994 standard of .125 and a 1997 standard of 0.075. Carbon monoxide emissions are 1.3 grams per mile, compared to the 94 standard of 3.4 and the 97 standard of 1.7. The cars' emission of smog-forming nitrogen oxide are half that of the 1994 standard (0.2 grams per mile compared to a standard of 0.4) and are close to levels required in 1997.

        The ARB's emission standards for 1994-2003 models are the world's strictest and will produce cars that are 50 to 85 percent less polluting than today's models, which also met strict emission limits. Those same emission standards require car makers to produce pollution-free electric cars, beginning with 1998 models.

        Since those standards were adopted in 1990, the ARB also has set reformulation standards that will produce the world's cleanest burning gasoline, that will be 30-40 percent less smog-forming, beginning in 1996.

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