BCAA/AirCare Clean Air Day analysis reveals dramatic reduction in vehicle air pollutants

    BURNABY, BC, June 3 /CNW/ - For Clean Air Day (June 4), the British
Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) and AirCare have released findings that
confirm a marked improvement in emissions of air pollutants from vehicles over
the past ten years - namely emissions that effect air quality and contribute
to health issues.
    BCAA and AirCare compared the tailpipe emissions of five 2008 vehicles
against their 1998 predecessors. Although the makes and models of the tested
cars have changed in size and engine capacity over the past ten years, the
results indicate a positive 72 to 97 per cent improvement in vehicle air
pollutants, as summarized in the table below:

    Make and Model         1998           2008         Change  % improvement
    Honda Civic          0.6954         0.0176         0.6778            97%
    Dodge Caravan        0.6121         0.0316         0.5805            95%
    Ford Explorer        0.6059         0.0409         0.5650            93%
    VW Jetta             0.1767         0.0212         0.1555            88%
    Chevrolet Malibu     0.1985         0.0562         0.1423            72%
    Notes: Results are shown in grams per kilometre (g/km) and are impact
           weighted averages of HC, CO and NOx. The readings are weighted in
           proportion to their impact on health and the environment to yield
           a composite number. Formula for weighting emissions measure used
           (HC +CO/7+NOx)/3. The percentage change reflects the reduction in
           exhaust tailpipe pollutants that have a negative effect on air

    The vehicle scores include three types of air pollutants - hydrocarbons
(HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The '98 figures were
based on a sampling of vehicles that recently passed AirCare; and the '08
figures were based on vehicles supplied to AirCare by BCAA, courtesy of the
    AirCare Operations Manager, Dave Gourley, says the results validate that
auto manufacturers have met the challenge set by governments to reduce the
emissions of smog-forming pollutants by about 99 per cent compared to an
uncontrolled vehicle from the mid-1960s.
    At the same time, manufacturers have been able to advance designs with
more power, size, and safety features, mainly due to fuel injection technology
and other advanced computer controls.
    "To get the full air quality benefits of this advanced technology, owners
of 1998-and-newer vehicles need to respond to the "check engine" light as soon
as it appears," advises Gourley. "Older cars need to be checked periodically
to keep them as clean as they can be, for as long as they remain on the road."
    Although the reduction in air pollutants from passenger vehicles has been
dramatic, the BCAA/AirCare ten-year analysis shows virtually no change in
greenhouse gas emissions (primarily CO(2)), which are more directly linked to
fuel consumption.
    "Largely through technology, vehicle manufacturers have managed to meet
tougher government standards and significantly reduce air pollutants," says
BCAA Director of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, Trace Acres.
"It will be interesting to see whether automakers will tackle the next
challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions using technology - hybrids or
fuel cells, for example - or by promoting smaller, lighter and less powerful
vehicles - or both."

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 780,000 members and
$120 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. In 2007 and 2008,
BCAA was named one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR
consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business
magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy,
visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation
visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

    About AirCare

    The objective of the AirCare program is to identify light-duty cars and
trucks that have developed emissions systems defects. Vehicles that fail an
emissions test are required to have the defects repaired prior to license
renewal. Light-duty cars and trucks are the single largest source of common
air contaminants in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. AirCare is a major
component of the Metro Vancouver's and Fraser Valley Regional District's Air
Quality Management Plans intended to improve air quality in these regions. The
program identifies approximately 50,000 excess-emitting vehicles each year,
and ensures corrective repairs are made. In its first 14 years (1992 to 2006),
AirCare has reduced vehicle emissions by 31%. An additional 45% reduction in
vehicle emissions is due to new vehicle technology and cleaner fuel, for a
total vehicle emissions reduction of 76%. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: or interview requests: Jennifer Timm, BCAA
Media Relations Advisor, Tel: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859, Email:
jennifer.timm@bcaa.com; Rashpal Rai, Manager, Public Relations, AirCare, Tel:
(604) 637-2232, Cell: (604) 240-1467, Email: Rashpal.Rai@esph.com

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