|U.S. Epa Awards Honda Insight for Climate Protection|
| Washington, DC, October 30, 2000 --- The Honda Insight, the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle to be sold in the U.S., will receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2000 Climate Protection Award on Oct. 31, at a special ceremony in the nation's capital. Honda is one of 15 recipients to be honored for demonstrating environmental leadership, and is the only automotive recipient.
"Recipients of the Climate Protection Award are leading by example," said EPA in a statement about the awards program. "Their demonstrated commitment and extraordinary contributions inspire other individuals and organizations to take part in finding solutions to global warming."
"Honda is honored to receive EPA's recognition of the Insight as a technological breakthrough," said Tom Elliott, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We are encouraged by the American public's acceptance of this new hybrid technology, and by the interest in the Insight at a time when fuel economy performance and lowering emission levels are increasingly important to new car buyers."
Introduced in December 1999 as the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid in the U.S., the 2000 model Insight (five-speed manual transmission) received EPA's highest fuel economy rating ever for a gasoline-powered car --- 61 mpg in city driving, 70 mpg on the highway --- almost twice the fuel economy of a conventional car. Its driving range is 600-700 miles on one 10.6-gallon tank of regular unleaded gas.
The Insight features Honda's Integrated Motor Assist(TM) (IMA) system --- a 1.0- liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a lightweight and compact 144-volt electric motor. The electric motor is powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which is charged by the gasoline engine and by recapturing energy during braking. The Insight does not require an external source of electric power --- it never needs to be plugged in.
Priced at less than $20,000, the Insight meets California's stringent Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standard --- achieving more than a 70 percent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions, and 50 percent less NOx emissions than a conventional car.
"In the near future, Honda will be introducing hybrid technology to the Civic line, one of our leading mass-market models," Elliott said. "This expansion reflects both Honda's environmental commitment and our sense that customers are ready for this new technology."
EPA's award is the most recent acknowledgement of Honda's long-standing, industry-leading commitment to the environment. Since 1975, Honda has offered a consistent stream of innovative, increasingly fuel-efficient and less polluting automobiles and light trucks that also deliver the performance, quality, value and reliability expected by American drivers.
In 2001, 88 percent of all new model Honda and Acura automobiles and light trucks will be Low-Emission Vehicles (LEV) or better --- emitting 70 percent less hydrocarbons than a typical vehicle.
Notable offerings from Honda in 2001 ---
EPA established the Climate Protection Awards in 1998 to recognize exceptional leadership, personal dedication, and technical achievements in protecting the Earth's climate. Awards are presented to companies, organizations and individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to greenhouse gas reduction through pollution prevention, technical innovation, stewardship, recycling and product introduction.
Award recipients are nominated by their peers for outstanding accomplishments in climate protection. An international panel of independent judges representing government, industry, and non-governmental organizations reviews recommendations; EPA makes the final award selections.
Award selection criteria are based on: originality and public purpose, persuasive moral and/or organizational leadership, global perspectives and implications, and actual (or equivalent) reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions.