What is PZEV?
A PZEV is a “partial zero emissions vehicle”. This is the term used for cars and automobiles that are equipped with the latest in emission control technology. A PZEV has a gasoline engine but since it has a built-in technologically-advanced engine, it will cause zero evaporative emissions. All vehicles manufactured with “PZEV” engines must strictly follow certain standards in controlling emissions, particularly the tailpipe-emission standard set by SULEV. SULEV stands for Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle and it is a term or label given to vehicles which are developed to have fuel systems that will result to zero or minimal emissions. If a particular vehicle is said to have passed the SULEV standard, it simply means that as much as 90% of emissions are curbed by the fuel system and emission-control engine in place.
Aside from curbing emissions by up to 90% when compared to standard vehicles, PZEVs also get a long-term warranty of 15 years for all the components involved in the emission-control system. Despite advancements in emission control though, PZEVs are lagging behind or just at par with newer regular cars when it comes to fuel mileage.
Back in 1990, the state of California already started its campaign on the development and manufacture of vehicles that will produce fewer emissions. It was during this time that the mandated “ZEV” or zero emission vehicles was born. This became the precursor of the label PZEV. All vehicles that pass the PZEV standard should also pass the SULEV standard. SULEV’s guidelines are considered even stricter than any other standards when it comes to low-emission systems in vehicles.
PZEV is further improved with the AT-PZEV label. AT stands for Advanced Technology and this involves PZEVs with better fuel mileage features. Fuel use is enhanced by hybrid electrical systems and this standard is commonly used in the SUV category.