2012 Subaru Impreza: The PZEV Thingamajig
July 02, 2012
Our 2012 Subaru Impreza wears its green credentials proudly on the back windshield. It is a "partial zero emission vehicle"-- a PZEV. That designation won't get it a carpool sticker, but it does mean that it is an "extremely clean conventional vehicle" with zero evaporative emissions and a 150,000-mile extended warranty for the emissions system.
PZEV is a category under the Zero Emission Vehicle requirement, an air-quality law developed by the California Air Resources Board and first adopted in 1990. The board says that the law is "an important regulation for meeting California's air quality and greenhouse gas reduction goals."
How good a job does a PZEV car do at reducing air pollution? As Edmunds green-car expert John O'Dell put it in a 2007 article, "They are so good at scrubbing emissions that the exhaust coming from their tailpipes is cleaner than the air sucked through their air filters in places -- such as Southern California freeways -- with particularly nasty pollution."
Because California is a huge car market and the 800-pound gorilla in the world of air-quality and greenhouse gas regulation, its law actually influences what cars automaker build, and where they're sold. O'Dell's recent story, Will California's Zero-Emissions Mandate Alter the Car Landscape? spells it out in detail.
As I was researching some details of PZEV, I came across this definition for the term at the California Air Resource Board's Web site:
That's one way to cut through the bureaucratic terminology.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @3,079 miles