2003 Ford Vehicles Feature Partial Zero Emission Vehicle Levels
Ford Motor Co. announced on Jan. 4, 2002 that three of its upcoming vehicles will be available in 2003 with Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) levels of emissions. A gasoline-powered version of the Ford Focus and a hybrid-electric-powered Ford Escape both will be available as PZEV. In addition, the all-new 2003 Ford Expedition, on sale this spring, qualifies as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).
Beginning in 1998, Ford pledged to engineer all of its sport/utility vehicles and Windstar minivans with Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) certi-fication, five years before regulatory requirements. In 1999, Ford announced that it would do the same with its popular F-Series pickup trucks.
To earn PZEV certification, a vehicle must meet three separate criteria. First, it must have tailpipe emis-sions that meet the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standards.
Compared to the nationwide Tier I emissions standard the SULEV standard requires: 97 per-cent fewer hydrocarbon emissions, 76 percent less carbon monoxide, 97 percent less NOx, and 90 percent less particulate matter.
PZEV certification also requires a demonstration of "zero" gasoline evaporative emissions, virtually eliminating evaporative emissions from the vehicle's fuel system. Im-provements to meet this challenging standard require upgrading practically the entire evaporative system, plus the addition of several new and unique components.
Finally, a vehicle certified as PZEV must provide warranty coverage to ensure that the vehicle will meet these stringent requirements for an extended lifetime of 15 years or 150,000 miles.
Production of the PZEV Focus is expected to reach approximately 65,000 units in its first year, which would make it the largest-market PZEV vehicle to date - bolstering Ford's position as an environmental leader for mainstream vehicles.
Ford engineers modified the 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine cur-rently used in the Focus to achieve the PZEV emissions certification. Notable changes include a repro-grammed engine-management computer, new 12-hole fuel injectors, a coil-on-plug ignition system and a new secondary air system. A new dual-wall inlet pipe speeds warm-up of the improved catalytic converter, and a catalytic monitoring sensor has been installed.
The 2003 PZEV Focus will be available in sedan, wagon, and three and five door hatchback configura-tions beginning in early 2003.
The Ford Escape HEV, which begins production in 2003, will be the first hybrid vehicle to achieve PZEV status. Because of its PowerSmart transaxle and Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine, the Escape HEV will deliver nearly 40 miles per gallon. Four-wheel-drive will be available, and it will have comparable ground clearance and cargo capacity. It will not need to be plugged in to a re-charging outlet like other electric vehicles.
Qualifying as a ULEV vehicle, the all-new 2003 Ford Expedition SUV is being certified to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's strin-gent Tier II rules one year earlier than required.