"Honda remains the greenest U.S. automaker. The company installs clean technology across its entire fleet of cars and trucks and that consistency makes it a top environmental performer. Honda is one of only two automakers to have better-than-average global warming scores in every class of vehicles it sold in MY2005," said Don MacKenzie, a vehicles engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists. "In addition, Honda continues to have the best smog score in four out of the five classes."
Honda is committed to remaining a leader in the development and application of new technologies that address three critical environmental challenges: improving fuel efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming; reducing smog-forming emissions to address air pollution; and advancing real-world alternatives to gasoline to promote energy sustainability.
"We are proud to be recognized as a leader, and will continue to challenge ourselves to improve the environmental performance of our company and our products," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We have entered a period in history where society is more critically aware of how the actions we take today determine the course of our environmental future for generations to come. We accept this as our challenge."
Reducing CO2 Emissions
American Honda has applied leading-edge fuel efficient technologies to the full range of its Honda and Acura products, resulting in industry-leading corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (33.9 mpg and 24.7 mpg, respectively, for model year 2006 passenger cars and light trucks).
In May 2006, Honda became the first automaker to publicly announce voluntary targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 2010 from both its products and production operations. Specifically, the company is targeting a five percent reduction in CO2 emissions for its global automobile fleet from 2005 levels, on top of a five percent reduction achieved in the 2000-2005 time period. The company also will work toward a 10 percent reduction for motorcycles and power products from 2000 levels by 2010.
In order to achieve this voluntary CO2 reduction goal through the increased fuel efficiency of its automobiles, Honda will introduce a series of new fuel-efficient technologies and products, including intelligent engine systems; second-generation Variable Cylinder Management (VCM); a new, more affordable gas-electric hybrid vehicle in 2009; and a new clean diesel vehicle in about two years with high fuel efficiency and ultra-low emissions equivalent to a gasoline engine vehicle.
Further, the global average of CO2 emissions to produce one automobile at Honda plants declined by approximately 5 percent during the five year period up to 2005. Honda is working toward a further reduction by 5 percent or more by 2010, to achieve a total global reduction of 10 percent compared to the level of 2000. For motorcycle and power product production, Honda set goals to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent in each area.
Reducing Smog-Forming Emissions
Honda has long led the industry in reducing smog-forming vehicle emissions, including the very first LEV, ULEV, SULEV and AT-PZEV vehicles made available to U.S. consumers. For the time period covered by the UCS analysis, 99.9 percent of all model year 2005 Honda and Acura vehicles complied with the 2007 U.S. EPA Tier 2 emissions standards. To achieve the Tier 2 BIN 5 classification, a vehicle must reduce NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions by at least 75 percent from the previous standard.
Promoting Alternative Fuels
Honda is also pacing the industry in the development of alternative fuel technologies. The Honda FCX is the first fuel cell vehicle to be certified by U.S. EPA for regular commercial use, and the first to be placed in the hands of individual customers. Those customers include the world's first fuel cell family, the Spallinos of Redondo Beach, California, and the world's youngest fuel cell customer, 17-year-old actress Q'orianka Kilcher. In 2008, Honda will introduce its next generation fuel cell vehicle, based on the futuristically-styled FCX Concept. Powered by a more compact, powerful and efficient, Honda-developed, V FlowÃ¢â€žÂ¢ fuel cell stack, the new Honda fuel cell vehicle will rival a gasoline-powered car in its performance, range and comfort.
For the past eight years, Honda also has marketed the ultra-clean, natural gas-powered Civic GX, the only dedicated alternative fuel vehicle available to U.S. consumers in all 50 states. Further, the Civic GX is marketed to consumers in California and New York with the innovative PhillÃ¢â€žÂ¢ home refueling appliance. Natural gas is an abundant and clean-burning domestic fuel with 25 percent less CO2 emissions and 30-50 percent lower operating costs than gasoline.
Honda is also developing new technologies for cleaner, more efficient energy generation. This includes a third-generation Home Energy Station (HES) for refueling fuel cell vehicles, and the production in Japan of Honda-developed CIGS solar cells that require approximately half the energy to produce compared to traditional thin-film solar cells. Both the HES unit and a hydrogen refueling station using Honda's CIGS solar panels are in operation at Honda's U.S. R&D center in Los Angeles, California - Honda.