California has long lead the U.S. in emissions reduction, and recently created the SULEV20 standard, the most stringent in the nation and
one-third cleaner (in terms of smog-forming pollution) than the previous lowest state standard. On Wednesday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid was the first car to get SULEV20 certification.
The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid has the highest EPA fuel efficiency rating in its class, at 115 MPGe. It is a plug-in hybrid, meaning the battery pack can be recharged from the electrical grid or from the on-board gasoline engine. The recharge time via a 120 volt outlet is about 3 hours, or about 1 hour through a regular J1772 charging station.
The car produces only 20 milligrams of combined smog-forming emissions per mile. This qualifies the Accord Plug-in Hybrid for SULEV20 certification, and is lower than the fleet average standard required for all cars in 2025, the equivalent of a 50-percent reduction from current required levels. When fully in force, in 2025, the standard will reduce smog-causing pollutants from low-emission vehicles 75 percent from current levels, and greenhouse gases by 34 percent. The new requirements will save California drivers $5 billion in operating costs in 2025, and $10 billion by 2030 when more advanced cars are on the road.
Honda has a history of being the first automaker to meet new emissions requirements. Earlier firsts included the 1996 Civic which was the first certified Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) gasoline vehicle; The 1998 Accord which was the first ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) gasoline vehicle; The 2000 Accord which was the first certified Super Ultra-low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) gasoline vehicle; The 2001 Civic GX powered by compressed natural gas which was the first certified Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT PZEV); and The 2003 Civic Hybrid which was the first certified Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle. (AT PZEV)
“Once again, Honda is the first to comply with ARB’s most stringent standard,” said Tom Cackette, ARB’s Deputy Executive Office and head of the mobile source program. “Honda has demonstrated that a dedicated commitment to the environment and advanced engineering at every level of the company can deliver the cleanest cars well ahead of schedule.”