Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not-quite but Pretty Close

Some new Ford cars are being marketed as "Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles".

Partial Zero Emissions?

Uh, either you are ZERO emissions, or you are NOT. Zero is a binary option here -- ZERO or NOT-ZERO. If you are not zero, you have some.

A Partial Zero Emissions vehicle is just a very low emissions vehicles, but it still has emissions. You are just "almost zero", or "just about zero" or "still some teensy bit", but calling it a Partial Zero Emissions vehicle sounds like marketing hoo-ha.

And it is, technically. All of this is being driven by the CA statute requiring zero-emissions vehicles and this was a bone tossed to the automobile industry to allow them to show progress towards the goal, even if they aren't actually there yet. They can't claim 0, so they made a new category of extra/ultra low emissions and called it "partial zero" to make everyone feel good, apparently.
This vehicle category was created as part of a bargain with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), so that the automobile manufacturers could postpone producing mandated zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), which will require the production of electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. - from Wiki.
I'm not arguing with the progress (yeah for low emissions vehicles), but with the nomenclature. It's just stupid and silly and misleading. Call it "Almost Zero", if you have to, to add to the confusing maze of acronyms related to car emissions, but "Partial Zero?"

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