Badging to the rescue. With the Toyota taking the hybrid title and the domestics vying for ethanol/flex-fuel laurels, Ford announced today it is stepping up its green marketing attempts with the PZEV badge to let consumers know its got green vehicles, too. PZEV stands for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle and the first Ford to wear the mark is the 2007 Ford Focus with a 2.0-liter Duratec 20E engine. The badge will be applied to all 2007 Ford Focuses sold in California (the PZEV designation is based on the the California Air Resources Board certification) and other Ford Motor Company vehicles from Mercury, Volvo and Mazda are also in line for the mark.
PZEV means that the vehicle meets three criteria set by CARB: tailpipe emissions must be 80 percent lower than the average of other 2007 models, there must be virtually no fuel vapors escaping from the fuel system, and the manufacturer must warranty the PZEV requirements for 15 years of 150,000 miles. Ford says that the 37-mpg 2007 Ford Focus meets the same emissions standards as the best hybrids. One bit of vague trivia Ford included in their press release is that grilling one hamburger emits more hydrocarbon emissions than a Focus PZEV would over a 180-mile drive. Does that mean we shouldn't grill burgers?