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The California Air Resources Board has given a green rating to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the grade atop the page being ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle). That's below the SULEV and PZEV ratings of cars you might not expect to beat the Volt, such as the four-cylinder Honda Accord and Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0T and Jetta TDI. Also on the list as being cleaner than the Volt are the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda CR-Z. Click past the break for some interesting comparative charts.

Subaru doesn't have any hybrids in its line up and its electric car program, based around the R1e, is still in its (seemingly never-ending) infancy, but it does have partial zero-emission vehicles (PZEVs) and , apparently, pogo sticks. In an effort to promote the sale of its PZEV vehicles in Canada, the company offers a website to explore the two options. It's a close call but we really have to go for the PZEV, if only to avoid any sudden onset of motion sickness.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted last week to revise its ZEV (zero-emissions vehicle) Mandate that was first adopted in 1990 and has since been changed five times now. The newest revisions ease up on automakers, now calling for 7,500 zero-emission vehicles to be sold in California between 2012 and 2014, down from 25,000 that were called for in the last revision made in 2003. A zero-emissions vehicle includes a pure electric vehicle or one powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, though CA

The new U.S.-market 2008 Ford Focus may not offer the diesel engines available to European buyers, but it can produce some exceptionally clean exhaust. Buyers in California can choose a variation that meets the requirements for a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) certification. To get that honor cars must meet the Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle standard, emit no fuel vapors and offer an extra long 15-year, 150,000-mile warranty on emissions equipment. The SULEV emissions standard means the

Understanding the confluence of the electric drive industry and the U.S. government is at the heart of the EDTA Conference this week. During a working session on Wednesday, a half dozen speakers dissected ways governments of various jurisdictions (city, state and federal) can and do support electric drive vehicles. Here're the highlights.

If you're like me, then all of the EVs (SULEV, ULEV, PZEV) attached to new car emissions descriptions are sort of baffling. The EVs are vehicle emissions standards in the state of California, but have gained popularity because they're easy to use and help salespeople sell cars to gals like me who wear their Birkenstocks to the dealership. Here's the scoop on what the different standards refer to: