Honda Wins Most Awards at Challenge Bibendum Environmental Competition

Seven Production Honda Models Showcase High Fuel Economy, Low Emissions

September 29, 2003, U.S.A.


TORRANCE, Calif, U.S.A., September 29, 2003 – Seven Honda models participating in the 2003 Challenge Bibendum, the largest and most significant environmental transportation event in the nation, took home 30 awards after three intensive days of competition at Infineon Raceway in Northern California.

Honda vehicles garnered 11 gold and 19 silver performance awards, more than any of the nine other automakers entered. This represents four more awards than Honda earned during its strong showing at the 2001 Challenge Bibendum in Southern California, the first Bibendum held in the U.S.

Five of the gold performance awards were earned in the emissions category, an area in which Honda vehicles stand out. In fact, all six of the internal combustion and hybrid Honda models competing in the Challenge Bibendum were chosen to participate in the event's emissions runoff on the final day of competition, amid a field of 12 extremely low emission vehicles selected from the more than 100 vehicles participating. The seventh Honda entrant, the hydrogen fuel cell FCX, also topped its category by earning gold for zero emissions, as well as gold for its performance in noise, fuel efficiency, and CO2 emissions testing.

"We are truly pleased that our Honda production vehicles - the Accord EX, Civic GX, Civic Hybrid, Element, FCX, Insight, and Acura MDX - proved their environmental credentials readily in such a strong field of competitors, many of them developmental and prototype vehicles," said Tom Elliott, vice president of American Honda. "This speaks to Honda's imperative of bringing the most technologically advanced, environmentally sound vehicles to our new car showrooms now, rather than at some vague point in the future."

Indeed, this follows the philosophy of the company's founder, Soichiro Honda, who felt strongly that "an idea is nothing if it isn't put into action immediately ... that is what makes for progress."

Among Honda's many environmentally inclined models are ones certified to the most stringent Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standard, with Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) available in all 50 states. Additionally, the Civic GX and Civic Hybrid are the only vehicles recognized by the State of California as Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (AT-PZEV). The Accord EX is certified as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV), achieving emissions some 90 percent lower than the average 2003 vehicle. All Honda models sold nationwide are certified as Low Emission Vehicles (LEV) or better.

The Challenge Bibendum's mission is to quantify the progress being made in environmentally positive transportation. It has been held three times in Europe and now twice in the U.S.