Ford Focus PZEV introduced at the LA Auto
|Fordís latest attempt at an environmentally friendly automobile was
introduced at the 2003 LA Auto
Show. It is a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle
(PZEV) version of their best selling Focus.
PZEV is a concept introduced by the California Air Resource Board for vehicles that meet certain stringent emission requirements. The vehicle has to be a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV), it has to be fitted with traps to prevent evaporative emissions, and the whole emissions system has to come with a minimum fifteen year, one hundred fifty thousand mile warranty.
The big five automobile manufactures can earn ZEV credits from sales of PZEVs which can then be applied to meet six percent of the required ten percent Zero Emission Vehicles they must sell in model year 2005.
The Focus PZEV is powered solely by gasoline, not a CNG or Hybrid system. Physically it looked just like any other Ford Focus. The only discernable difference was the large white letters PZEV printed on the side of the vehicle.
Under the hood the standard 2.0-liter engine has been replaced with a 2.3-liter DOHC 14 four-cylinder power plant that is rated SULEV. . The Engine has also been modified to lower oil consumption and the air filter has been designed to last for 15 years before it needs changing. The catalytic converter has been moved to closer to the engine so that it heats up quicker and therefore becomes effective sooner. A trap has been installed at the gas tank to prevent evaporative emissions and the fuel lines and seals have been upgraded to prevent leaks.
Christine, the attractive young lady who was running the demo, had not been told the status of the car in relation to CARB certification. She did tell me however that the car should be in dealer showrooms this spring, but only in California, Massachusetts and New York State. All models of Ford Focus sold in those states will be PZEV.
So far Ford has not indicated what the price would be for these vehicles. There is also no indication of how the changes required for PZEV certification will impact gas mileage.
The introduction of the PZEV version of one of the biggest selling cars in the world is a direct result of the California Zero Emission mandate. If the introduction of this vehicle leads to the expected impact on air quality in California, it will be the first major success for this controversial legislation.
(Noel, where's the picture of Christine, the demo girl? Remy C. ET-web-ed)