Car im-partial-ity and other contradictions

I’m noticing a lot of Subarus and probably other cars that have “PZEV” on the back of them. I know what it stands for: “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle“. I read the Wikipedia article in that link.

I’m still confused.

It’s either Zero Emissions or it’s not. There is no partial. Partial means there are emissions. Heck even one emission and the Zero part goes away. That’s just how it works.

It’s like claiming to be partially pregnant: not possible. You are or you are not. Qualifiers are not welcome on absolutes.

I work with computers. They are binary: zero or one. There is no “point seven”. It’s simply not allowed. So why are “partial zero emissions” allowed?

Really, how do they get away with this silly designation? Sounds like a bunch of marketers at work in conjunction with CARB.

CARB has all sorts of interesting designations, including the ZEV, which is a Zero Emissions Vehicle: “Zero tailpipe emissions, and 98% cleaner than the average new 2003 model year vehicle.” So what’s with the 2%? Where’s that coming from if not the tailpipe? The paint? Leaky A/C? Again, it’s Zero or it’s not. And pretty much if it has a tailpipe, it has emissions of some sort.

I’m so confused.

Then again, I drive a Ford Flex EcoBoost, which recommends premium gas. It’s not a flex fuel car. In fact E85 (which is a sham, but that’s a different thought) AKA Flex Fuel is not Fuel for a Flex.

Go figure. At least it’s not partial anything.


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