An EPA award has been given unto Mitsubishi for a 30 percent more efficient automotive A/C unit. The 30 percent target was set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and as such will supplement a slight improvement in fuel economy in whatever vehicle it's installed in. With 30 percent less energy required to run the A/C, the alternator doesn't have to work as hard to generate the power it needs. Therefore, less stress and wear are put on the engine, theoretically requiring less maintenance. These are small improvements, but you know what they say about baby steps.

The A/C unit was installed and tested on the current Outlander, with excellent results. Come this fall, it will be installed in all new Outlanders sold in the U.S.

Press release after the jump

[Source: Mitsubishi]
"Power-saving Automotive Air Conditioner" jointly developed with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wins U.S. EPA award

Tokyo, May 25, 2007 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announces that it has won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2007 Climate Protection Award in recognition of its contribution to protection of the global climate for the Power-saving Automotive Air Conditioning Unit that it has developed in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

In its selection of the Power-saving Air Conditioner for the award, the EPA cited the significant reductions in power consumption it achieves as a result of improvements to the air conditioner itself and to its control system. In the joint project, MHI developed a new compressor and other components and undertook developmental testing of the system. MMC, for its part, fitted the air conditioner to a Mitsubishi Outlander on-road SUV model and boosted the operational efficiency of the system by making improvements to the vehicle body and to the control system and was also responsible for practical utility testing.

The Power-saving Automotive Air Conditioner developed by MMC and MHI clears the 30% improvement target in air conditioner system efficiency called for under the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning (I-MAC) research program launched by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) and the EPA in 2004.

The EPA awards are made to individuals, bodies, corporations and governmental organizations in recognition of exceptional technological achievements in the field of climate protection. The award system was introduced in 1998 following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Nominations are reviewed by an international panel of judges comprised of past award winners from government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. EPA makes the final award selections.

MMC will introduce an Outlander model fitted with the Power-saving Air Conditioner onto the North American market in the fall this year.

MMC has adopted an all-embracing approach in addressing such issues as the environment and the diversification of energy sources. The company is actively engaged in the development of a wide range of technologies including the iMiEV next-generation electric vehicle, a next-generation clean diesel engine, and a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) capable of running on various blends of gasoline and ethanol. Last year the company also launched the "Pajero Forest & Local Mountain Restoration Initiative" that aims to conserve and cultivate Japan's forests and woodlands.

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