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.

The 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act

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

1990 - 1999
  1. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
  2. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  3. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  4. 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
  5. Hosting Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991
  6. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
1980 - 1989
  1. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  2. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  3. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
  4. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  7. Formula One Entry / 1983Formula One Entry / 1983
  8. Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982
  9. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  10. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  11. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  12. City / 1981City / 1981
  13. The F200 The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
  14. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
1970 - 1979
  1. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  2. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  3. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  4. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  5. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  6. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
  7. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  8. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  9. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
  10. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  11. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  12. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
  13. Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970
1960 - 1969
  1. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  2. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  5. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  6. Formula One Entry / 1964Formula One Entry / 1964
  7. Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963
  8. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  9. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  10. Employing the Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
  11. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
1950 - 1959
  1. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959

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