2000 model year Nissan Sentra certified as cleanest gasoline-fueled car in the world

Sentra 'CA' meets CARB's stringent tailpipe and zero evaporative emissions levels

provided by Nissan North America, Inc.

issan North America, Inc., announced last month that a version of the all-new 2000 Nissan Sentra sedan was certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the only gasoline-fueled vehicle in the world to attain the agency's most stringent tailpipe emission levels and zero evaporative emissions, while fulfilling all On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) II requirements. By doing so, Nissan becomes eligible to earn zero emission vehicle credits in California, since the vehicle meets CARB's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle tailpipe standards, attains zero evaporative emissions levels and meets all OBD II requirements.

CARB said testing verified that a Sentra equipped with a 1.8-liter engine and new environmental technology met its most-stringent requirements for a gasoline-fueled vehicle in three critical areas:


  • Significantly reduced tailpipe emissions to one-fourth of the unburned hydrocarbon (HC) and one-tenth of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions of the cleanest gasoline-powered car sold now in California. In other words, the average concentration of tailpipe emissions is nearly the same or cleaner than that of the surrounding air in big cities.
  • OBD II (On-Board Diagnostic II) standards enable cars to detect minute changes in emissions, and to notify the driver when service may be needed to keep the engine running in its cleanest possible state.
  • Zero evaporative emissions, or elimination of fuel vapors escaping from fuel systems even while a vehicle is standing still.

According to CARB, "The Nissan (Sentra CA) alone qualifies for partial zero emission credits because it also has zero fuel evaporative emissions and has adopted CARB's optional 150,000 mile durability and warranty standards on emission control parts."

"This shows that modern technology can move even gasoline-powered vehicles toward our ultimate goal of a zero-emission vehicle fleet," said CARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. "Tailpipe emissions from these vehicles are eight times cleaner than an ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV), the cleanest gasoline-powered automobile currently being sold in California."

The 2000 Sentra CA (for "Cleaner Air") will be offered for sale early next year in California because only California mandates the sale of low-sulfur gasoline. Fuel in all other parts of the United States has higher levels of sulfur, which makes attainment of super clean emission levels impossible even with the high technology system in the Sentra CA.

"Being able to meet SULEV tailpipe levels, OBD II requirements and, especially, zero evaporative emissions was a very difficult task to accomplish," said Jason Vines, NNA vice president for external affairs. "But we did it, and this is just the start.

"We are working to expand the availability of this technology into new vehicles beyond the Sentra CA," Vines said. "We also want to market them in other states, but first, low-sulfur fuel must be made available elsewhere in the United States. Until that happens, the Sentra CA will be offered for sale only in California."

The most significant feature of the Sentra CA is zero evaporative emissions, a feat thought extremely difficult, if not impossible, to attain just a few years ago. Fuel vapors, which contain gases that are potentially harmful to the environment, seep from fuel systems constantly, whether a vehicle is being operated or whether it is parked. Some of these gases react with sunlight to create smog, which has been linked to a range of health problems related to breathing, including chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. The Sentra CA eliminates all of those vapors.

"In other words, a Sentra CA that is driven 10 miles to work in the morning and 10 miles home in the afternoon would emit fewer harmful vapors than a typical new car sitting in a driveway all day with its engine turned off," said Rob Strassburger, director of government and technical affairs for NNA in Washington, D.C. "The Sentra CA shows you don't have to sacrifice utility, performance or the 'fun factor' for low emissions. This car does it all."

In addition, the Sentra CA will include a technology that actually helps eliminate harmful ground-level ozone, which is the main component of smog. The radiator of all Sentra CAs will be coated with Engelhard Corp.'s PremAir®. As ozone-laden air passes over the radiator, the PremAir® coating will convert ozone molecules into oxygen. In effect, the air the Sentra CA leaves in its wake should be cleaner than the air in front of the vehicle.

Nissan plans to begin selling the Sentra CA equipped with SULEV technologies in California in February. The nationwide debut of the all-new Sentra for the 2000 model year will occur in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

In North America, Nissan's operations include styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan in North America, which includes employees and facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico, generates more than 90,000 jobs, approximately 20,000 directly and over 71,000 through approximately 1,500 Nissan and Infiniti retailers across the continent.

More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissandriven.com. PremAir® is a registered trademark of Engelhard Corporation