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SAE International to Certify Vehicle Air Conditioners for Environmental Performance

Warrendale, PA, Aug. 23, 2005 - Ever been low on gas, stuck in summer after-work traffic and wondered about the energy efficiency of your vehicle's air conditioner?

 A new program to certify motor vehicle air conditioners announced today by SAE International will answer such questions. Certification is available immediately for leak tightness as tested by SAE J-2727 (June 2005)*. Certification of energy efficiency will be available as soon as an SAE technical standard is approved in 2006. SAE Certification uses the acronym "I-MAC" in reference to Improved Mobile Air Conditioning.

SAE certification supports the goals of the Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection Partnership to reduce refrigerant greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of fuel use to power air conditioning by at least 30 percent.

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that more than 5 percent of gasoline used in the United States is for vehicle air conditioning and that refrigerant emissions contribute a comparable amount to global warming.

The J-2727 certification will be conducted in a similar manner to the Certified Power program recently announced by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the automobile industry. In that program, engine manufacturers determine horsepower from tests verified by a third party witness to be in accordance to the SAE Test Standard. SAE maintains the official database of certified results, which is available to the public.

The SAE I-MAC certification program will be guided by an international board of advisors including representatives of vehicle manufacturers, component suppliers and environmental authorities.

The following experts will serve on an interim technical board to help assure smooth and successful operation of the certification process: Stephen O. Andersen (US EPA), Ward Atkinson (SAE Climate Control Technical Committee), Denis Clodic (Ecole des Mines de Paris), Paul Hughes (California Air Resources Board), and Rowland Hwang (Natural Resources Defense Council). In addition, representatives from the world automobile manufacturers, air conditioning suppliers and European governmental bodies have been invited.

* SAE Standards in first reference must include month and year of publication.

Sidebar to "SAE International to Certify Vehicle Air Conditioners for Environmental Performance":

Quotes to Note:

"I-MAC certification will reward manufacturers for technical innovation that saves fuel, improves reliability, and protects the environment for future generations. SAE International is proud to support industry in improving the environmental performance of vehicle air conditioning technology." -- Jack Pokrzywa, Director of SAE Automotive Headquarters Operations.

"Ecole des Mines de Paris is part of the global community working to protect the climate through the development of new technology and performance incentives. I am proud to participate on the SAE MAC certification board where I will help guide testing and certification of new systems." -- Denis Clodic, Director of Research and Leader of MAC Projects.

"The California Air Resources Board (ARB) welcomes SAE Certification of environmentally superior air conditioning systems. SAE certification can be an analytical basis for rewards under California's greenhouse gas laws." -- Paul Hughes, Mobile Source Control Division.

"The Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection Partnership is the kind of leadership that is needed to solve global warming. In the future, drivers will be able to keep cool, help protect the climate, and save money at the pump." -- Roland Hwang, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Vehicles Policy Director.

"SAE Certification of reduced refrigerant leakage is a clear example of industry-government cooperation. This SAE milestone builds on the previous success of the partnership and is a welcome sign of the new climate protection technology that is now just around the corner." -- Stephen O. Andersen, EPA Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "

"DuPont believes that mobile air conditioning systems using refrigerant HFC-134a can and should be improved dramatically. As a founding member of the SAE I-MAC Cooperative Research Program we are proud of the rapid progress that has been made to improve the environmental sustainability of mobile air conditioning systems globally." -- Linda Fisher, DuPont Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer.

"SAE and the mobile air conditioning industry are moving forward to help protect the climate. With industry and governmental collaboration, our SAE mobile air conditioning system activities have included cooperative research programs, and development of new technical standards meeting these new environmental goals." -- Ward Atkinson, Chair of the SAE Interior Climate Control Technical Committee.