Visteon Corporation VC has developed an industry first -- a plastic fuel tank system designed to help vehicle manufacturers meet Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards. Visteon's innovative system successfully integrates components inside the plastic tank, eliminating most of the external fuel system connections. With the hardware inside the tank, there is less chance for hydrocarbons to seep into the earth's atmosphere.

"Our job is to partner with vehicle manufacturers to meet the needs of consumers, while working to reduce emissions," said Joy Greenway, director, Fuel Storage and Delivery. "Our team didn't see this as a contradiction, but as a challenge, and our new plastic fuel tank system is evidence of that."

Meeting automobile emissions regulations -- particularly the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) standard -- is increasingly difficult. To give some flexibility on ZEV standards, an alternative requirement, called Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) was created. A manufacturer gets credit against the ZEV requirement for automobiles that meet PZEV requirements, which include practically eliminating hydrocarbon emissions from the fuel tank. This has not been possible with plastic tanks until now.

"Until now, OEMs assumed that the only way to meet Partial Zero Emission Vehicle standards was by using a steel fuel tank," added Gary Mayo, director of Environmental Affairs for Visteon Corporation. "Visteon's plastic fuel tank system offers our customers opportunities to meet these standards and produce vehicles that are more environmentally friendly."

In addition to helping meet these standards, Visteon's plastic fuel tank system has many other benefits, such as improved packaging, lighter weight for better fuel efficiency, and reduced cost to vehicle manufacturers. And, plastic tanks do not corrode like steel tanks.

Visteon plans to showcase its plastic fuel tank system at the 2000 Paris Motor Show.

Visteon Corporation is a leading full-service supplier that delivers consumer-driven technology solutions to automotive manufacturers worldwide and through multiple channels within the global automotive aftermarket. Visteon has a global delivery system of more than 130 technical, manufacturing, sales, and service facilities located in 23 countries. It has 81,000 employees working in three business segments: Dynamics and Energy Conversion; Comfort, Communication and Safety; and Glass.