Nissan North America, Inc. is featuring a range of its environmentally conscious vehicles at the 6th annual Clean Cities Conference May 7 to 10 in San Diego, including the cleanest gasoline-fueled vehicle in the world.

The Clean Cities Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, promotes the development and implementation of environmentally friendly vehicles. Nissan's range of production and experimental vehicles showcase the company's commitment to the concepts espoused by the Clean Cities Conference. Headlining Nissan's news at the conference will be the Nissan Sentra CA, the cleanest gasoline-powered vehicle in the world. The CA is now on sale in limited volume throughout California priced at just $14,799.

"The Sentra CA and the other cars we have brought to the Clean Cities Conference -- the electric Altra EV, the Hypermini EV and the gas-electric Tino Hybrid -- are prime examples of Nissan's philosophy of symbiosis of people, vehicle and nature," said Mark Perry, corporate manager of category marketing.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified the Sentra CA as a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV). SULEV vehicles face the most stringent tailpipe emissions standards. CARB says a SULEV engine emits only 2.3 pounds of ozone-forming hydrocarbons during 100,000 miles of driving, which is about the same as spilling a quart of gasoline.

In addition, the Sentra CA is the only gasoline-fueled vehicle certified to the CARB zero evaporative emissions standards. Evaporative emissions are fumes that are emitted from fuel systems even when the vehicle is not operating.

The combination of zero evaporative emissions, SULEV tailpipe emissions, extended durability and full compliance with On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) requirements means that the Sentra CA qualifies as the only gasoline-fueled vehicle to receive Zero Emission Vehicle credits in California.

The SULEV emissions standards are part of CARB's Low Emission Vehicle II (LEV II) regulations for 2004 and subsequent model year vehicles, so Nissan is introducing this vehicle at least four years earlier than required.

"Our feeling was, why wait?" says Perry. "We need to begin putting this technology out there now, first, to show it can be done, and second, because it's the right thing to do. Every effort and every minute counts where preserving our natural resources are concerned."

Also featured at the Clean Cities Conference will be the Altra EV, the Hypermini and the Tino Hybrid, representing more of Nissan's forward-thinking design.

The Altra EV electric vehicle is a sport-utility vehicle/compact four-door van/minivan/station wagon and has room for four passengers and 200 pounds of cargo. The aerodynamic Altra EV is the roomiest production electric vehicle in the United States.

The Altra EV uses lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, similar to those used in notebook computers and video recorders. It uses safe inductive charging, which electromagnetically recharges the vehicle by sliding a plastic panel into the vehicle's front-end charge port. The Altra EV motor produces 83 horsepower and has a range of 80 miles.

The electric-powered Hypermini is an ultra-compact city vehicle for one or two people. Its small size provides it with tremendous versatility -- the Hypermini can park virtually anywhere. It has a 70-mile range on a single charge and can attain a top speed of 62 mph. Recharging its lithium-ion batteries takes roughly four hours via a 220-volt AC charger designed to be permanently installed in a garage or recharging area. The Hypermini is currently available in Japan and will be available in the United States soon.

The Tino Hybrid uses an electric motor and a conventional internal combustion engine for reduced emissions and greater fuel efficiency.

Nissan's involvement in environmental protection efforts was recognized last year when the company was the only automaker to earn the 1999 Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The manufacturer received the award for its innovations in improving fuel economy and reducing hydrofluorocarbons. Among its environmentally conscious efforts:

Nissan was the first manufacturer in the United States to install the equipment for recovery and recycling of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC-12) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC-134a) refrigerants in its U.S. dealerships.
Nissan was among the first automakers to eliminate the use of CFCs as a foaming and cleaning agent in manufacturing processes worldwide.
Nissan was the only automaker to receive the EPA's "Best of the Best" award for protecting the ozone layer.
Nissan is curbing HFC emissions in Japan, even though there is no government regulation regarding HFCs.
Nissan was the first carmaker to create a powertrain system combining direct-injection gasoline with a continuously variable transmission, which produces dramatically reduced emissions. The technology was honored with the Energy Conservation Prize from the Director General of Japan's Agency of Natural Resources and Energy.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at or contact the corporate media line at 310-771-5631.