Introducing the CVCC / 1972

Beating the World: Developing a Low Emission Engine

Introducing the CVCC / 1972

The 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act

Japan was only just entering the age of motorization in the mid-1960s, when it began experiencing the problem of smog. Then, in July 1966, the country’s Ministry of Transport introduced a standard regarding toxic gases emitted by automobiles, making it mandatory to reduce CO emissions to a maximum of 3 percent for automobiles (gasoline cars, except for mini cars) produced after September of that year. In August 1967, the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control was implemented, and in 1968, the Air Pollution Control Act took effect.

Photo

Soichiro Honda at the CVCC introduction held at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo on October 12, 1972.

Air pollution was not simply a problem that could be controlled by laws alone, however. On May 22, 1970, a physician’s co-op in the Tokyo district of Bunkyo-ku, brought the problem to the nation’s attention. Based on the results of an exhaustive examination of residents there, the doctors announced that "lead levels in the blood of residents living near the Ushigome-Yanagi-cho intersection in Tokyo’s Shinjuku-ku, is unusually high," raising speculation that the lead with which gasoline was formulated might be the culprit. Then in June, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) issued a notice regarding the prevention of lead pollution from automobiles, presenting guidelines with regard to the amount of lead that could be added to gasoline. Additional proof of the dangers was soon to come. On July 18 of that year, the occurrence of photochemical smog victims on the grounds of Rissho High School in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, became a social issue. The incident intensified the public’s demand that emissions be reduced and regulated. It was a sequence of events that led to the July 1971 establishment of the Environment Agency, a government bureau set up to safeguard the health of Japan’s population and resources.

The U.S. government was active in the crusade as far back as 1963, when it established the Clean Air Act, to which the Automobile Emission Control Act was added 1965. In 1966, the California State Government established its Air Resources Board, which began restricting emissions even further. As a means of promoting public awareness and disseminating information about its activities, the federal government published its official Air Pollution Control Regulations in the March 20, 1966, issue of the Federal Register.

The U.S. was determined to promote environmental policies against pollution. In 1970, the job of environmental administration was transferred to the newly established Environmental Protection Agency (later upgraded to a Department, now the EPA) from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). Concurrently, Senator Edwin Muskie submitted his clean-air bill - known as the Muskie Bill - to Congress. It was a major revision of the existing Clean Air Act, and its standards were more stringent than ever before. It stipulated that automobiles made in 1975 and thereafter should emit one-tenth the level of CO (carbon monoxide) and HC (hydrocarbons) compared to current models, while models 1976 and later should also emit one-tenth the level of NOx (nitrogen oxides). It was going to be challenge. In fact, the world’s automakers maintained that it would be almost impossible to meet such strict standards. Undaunted by the industry’s complaints, Congress passed the 1970 Clean Air Act on December 31, 1970.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

A System that Fosters Expertise
  1. A System that Fosters ExpertiseA System that Fosters Expertise
  2. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  1. A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the WorldA Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
  1. Marketing Globally, Producing LocallyMarketing Globally, Producing Locally
  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
  1. A Refreshing New DevelopmentA Refreshing New Development
Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  1. Products Emerging From Technology and InnovationProducts Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  2. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
  1. Production Technology: The Essence of Creative ManufaturingProduction Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufaturing
  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
  1. A Neverending Passion for RacingA Neverending Passion for Racing
  2. Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962
  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  1. Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  2. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  1. People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with NaturePeople and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  2. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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