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Nov 1, 2001

Honda's Low Emissions Stance A Good-News, Bad-News Deal

The latest American Honda press release touting the company's low-emissions expertise illustrates the good-news/bad-news aspect of the situation.<BR><BR>On one hand, low emissions are better for the environment. On the other hand, if one company (Honda) can meet ultra-low-emissions standards now, there's no excuse for other companies not to meet the standards now, which could impact street motorcycle performance and retail pricing, and require the use of catalytic converters on some models.<BR><BR><BR>Now, on to the press release:<BR><BR>American Honda is pleased to announce that the 2002 AquaTrax F-12 and F-12X personal watercraft with 4-stroke engines have received emissions<BR>certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).<BR><BR>Honda's two all-new watercraft models are the first 4-stroke powered personal watercraft to meet the EPA's 2006 emissions standards. The 2006 EPA standards set a 75 percent emissions reduction compared to conventional carbureted two-stroke engines.<BR><BR>Certification of the two AquaTrax models to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2004 Two-Star Very Low Emission standards is expected soon. Marine engines meeting the Two-Star CARB standard produce 20 percent fewer emissions than engines meeting the 2006 U.S. EPA standards.<BR><BR>In September 2000, Honda was the first company to announce 4-stroke powered personal watercraft. On September 19, 2001 Honda unveiled two low-emissions family-sized models, the 125-horsepower AquaTrax F-12 and the 165-horsepower turbocharged AquaTrax F-12X, at the company's annual motorcycle dealer meeting in Las Vegas.<BR><BR>American Honda's President and CEO, Koichi Amemiya told dealers, "When we say 'performance first' this also means putting the environment first. We believe this is our responsibility. Introducing 4-stroke technology throughout the lineup and other new technologies will make our products more friendly to the environment even as we advance performance."<BR><BR>The AquaTrax F-12 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $8999 and the AquaTrax F-12X has an MSRP of $9999. The AquaTrax models will go on sale in early 2002.<BR><BR>Today, efficient 4-stroke engines power all Honda motorcycles, scooters, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and personal watercraft for use on public roads, lands and waterways in the U.S.<BR><BR>Honda has a long history of introducing low-emissions products, often meeting engine emission standards years ahead of schedule.<BR><BR>Since 1973, Honda has only manufactured 4-stroke marine engines, which are 90 percent cleaner, and up to 50 percent more fuel-efficient, than traditional two-stroke outboard engines.<BR><BR>The 1975 Honda Civic CVCC was the first and only engine to comply with the original (1970) Clean Air Act standards, without the use of a catalytic converter while running on leaded gasoline.<BR><BR>In 1989, Honda introduced the VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) automobile engine, the foundation engine technology for the simultaneous achievement of high performance, low emissions and exceptional fuel efficiency. The VTEC engine, now used in more than 60 percent of all Honda and Acura vehicles, powers Honda's leadership in corporate average fuel economy. Honda automobiles and light trucks have consistently topped the EPA's Top Ten list of most fuel-efficient vehicles since first created in 1977.