LOS ANGELES – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has donated five clean-burning, fuel-efficient Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). The vehicles are prototypes of Mazda’s Tribute compact SUV and are part of 30 total Tribute Hybrid SUVs that Mazda will loan to fire agencies across Southern California. The Tribute HEVs, branded with the familiar LAFD badge, will be driven by LAFD staff in various assignments throughout Los Angeles County. They will mainly be used for non-emergency functions, such as travel to fire safety inspections, educational programs, and fire station maintenance activities. Other fire departments in Orange County, Corona, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside also will receive the environmentally responsible Tribute HEV prototypes, courtesy of Mazda. Putting Tribute HEV prototypes into the hands of the Southland fire agencies also benefits Mazda. Although the company doesn’t currently sell the Tribute HEV to customers, the varied driving conditions these vehicles will be put through, as well as the input on on-road performance received from the fire agencies, will be valuable as Mazda moves toward full production of an HEV. Mazda Tribute HEV is 99.4 percent cleaner, on average, than an unregulated vehicle, yet still delivers the performance required by SUV owners. With a combined horsepower output of 155, the Tribute HEV provides plenty of power yet meets strict Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEVII) and Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards in California.