Auto Evolution – Sex, Speed, Freedom and PZEV

11 Nov


What is a PZEV and why would you want it?

The auto industry has perennially been at the forefront of marketing – selling sex, speed and freedom. And we are all 0ver it, we love our cars, the freedom it allows us, our teenage make out sessions in the hinterlands and speeding through “S” curves. We plan our communities and lives around the automobile and the auto industry romanticizes it for us.  A colleague of mine , Eric Corey Freed, even spelled it out in his new presentation. This is what you can be and the places you can go when you purchase an automobile:

From Eric Corey Freed's Presentation: "Sins, Spills and Starbucks"

But now this! The PZEV – new not so romantic terminology standing for “partially zero emissions vehicle”. Do people really want a PZEV, a car that is partially zero something or another? Is it a new marketing ploy telling us we can be green as we pave more roads, widen freeways and build more parking lots while driving around in our partially zero polluting vehicles?  Do you want to be partially zero something, even if it made sense? Are they trying to sell us a car that is almost zero? It doesn’t sound as if they actually want to sell it.  Remember that these are the same people that came up with the Gremlin and the Brat, of course those didn’t have government involvement.

Partially Green Cars

PZEVs are a tremendous step in the right direction, but I am still appalled that they opt to and are even allowed to market themselves as partially zero emission. While visiting the Auto Show a few of weeks ago, I was reminded that this term has received partially zero outrage.Car Art These car companies are thumbing their noses at our intelligence and the environment and bringing green washing to it highest heights. Partial what? These companies should be boycotted, if for nothing else but coming up with and pushing for such a ridiculous and confusing term such as (PZEV).  Especially to sell “green” cars, even more so in car loving America. But since we let the government, in such forms as the FDA and Congress, get away with much worse in their deception and sleight of hand, we might as well allow this, right?

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) defines automobiles that receive a PZEV credit as being a car that has met the state’s Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) tailpipe standard, which is 90% cleaner than an average new 2004 automobile. In addition, a PZEV must have near-zero evaporative emissions and its emission control equipment must carry a 15-year/150,000 mile warranty. To be rated as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV), an automobile must meet all the above criterion for a PZEV rating and additionally must make use of “ZEV-enabling clean technology” such as alternative fuels, electric drive, or other advanced technology systems.

Partially Green is Partially Sexy?

It sounds like partially green snake oil to me. How about calling these cars something partially green or sporty like GTS (Gran Turismo Sostenible), GSV (Green Sports pzev-jokeVehicle),  CGV (Certified Green Vehicle) or GSX (Green Sexy Machine)? I’m sure a savy marketer could come with something really good. Something that we might get excited about, not something partially zero. OK, so they are doing a good thing by striving towards reducing pollution. So why can’t it be done honestly or with integrity? No wonder its OK to stretch the truth and be deceptive today at all levels of society. What is a part of zero anyway and who wants to be part of zero? Zero has no parts. And since zero has no parts it must be OK if your kid has partially zero drugs at the party,  your daughter is partially pregnant, or you partially didn’t have that extra drink before getting into your PZEV and driving down the road? Why not?

Green Washing Euphoria

This is a reason green washing and blurring the lines between what is real and what isn’t continues. If you spew, you spew, how do you partially not spew? To not be perfect is perfectly OK , none of us are perfect, well, maybe some of us are, or at least think we are. And contrary to some thinking in the world, it is impossible to live and not have an environmental impact, but why not be honest about it? Why can’t we be truthful about what we are doing and celebrate the achievements for what they truly are without trying to deceive and manipulate and confuse through obfuscation, marketing ploys and false terminology. To be truthful is to truly lead and educate by example, thus moving us to a better place in the future than we are today. Unfortunately, stuff like this leads to mistrust and minimization of what doing the right thing truly is. Its one of the reasons that people get “green fatigue” as well as mistrust the government and large corporations.

Here is a list of companies selling PZEV’s:PZEV Honda

  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Ford
  • Honda
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

They seem to think you’re an idiot, that seems like a pretty good reason not to be.

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