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Nissan Sentra CA Rakes In the Green Awards

November 22, 2000

Nissan's Sentra CA, the 1.8-liter all-gasoline, all-the-time internal combustion engine-powered economy car introduced in February, seems to be able to do almost no wrong.

First, the special Sentra, available only in California, is the only gasoline-fueled vehicle to date that qualifies for a partial zero emissions vehicle credit from the state Air Resources Board. While Sentras are ordinarily SULEVs, or super ultra-low emission vehicles, the CA model is equipped with a unique filter that prevents fuel tank evaporative emissions from escaping into the atmosphere.

Second, the CA is one of just three 2001 model vehicles sold in the entire U.S. to be rated a "10" by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in its new online Vehicle Emissions Guide (10, or course, being best). The others are Honda's SULEV-rated Accord and Toyota's hybrid Prius, which uses both gasoline and electric motors.

And now comes word that the Sentra CA was the only automobile to garner a prize in Gov. Gray Davis' annual Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards announced in Sacramento this week. The gov gave Nissan the innovation award for the CA's evaporative emissions filter.

The only problem with the vehicle is that Nissan made only 500 of them the first year and quickly sold out in most locations. For 2001, however, Nissan promises to more than double production and to supply California with an average of 100 Sentra CA models per month.

By the way, that EPA emissions guide can be found at http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions. It is a great companion to the EPA's ever-popular fuel economy guide, at http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

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