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. PZEV Focus: 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. Escape HEV: 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. 2003 Expedition: 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.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials