PZEV Disappearing Act

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You probably haven’t noticed that no one is touting the PZEV anymore. The Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle attributes of their new  . . . vehicles anymore. It was common until fairly recently – about ten years ago – to see “PZEV” badges affixed to new cars’ bumpers and tailgates.

Now you never see them anymore – except on one of those older cars.

Why would no car manufacturer want to advertise that they had all-but-eliminated the harmful emissions coming from the tailpipe of one of their new vehicles? This is precisely what “PZEV” means. It’s not just an advertising term – like “limited” or “special edition.” It has a very specific meaning – a very specific threshold – that must be met in order for that badge to be legal to affix to the bumper or tailgate of any vehicle.

What it means, specifically, is that the PZEV vehicle’s exhaust is within a hair – a fraction – of being as free of harmful emissions that it almost qualifies as a “zero emissions” vehicle.

Perhaps you see the problem here.

It cannot be admitted – the public must not be allowed to know – that non-electric vehicles – gas engined vehicles – achieved near zero-emissions more than a decade ago. Put another way, that there is no longer an emissions problem, if by “problem” one means emissions that cause problems insofar as air quality is concerned.

And that is a big problem for the pushers of electric cars. Which are also not “zero emissions” cars – notwithstanding the constant use of that false-advertising slogan.

It is true that electric cars don’t emit any unburned or incompletely burned hydrocarbons – the compounds that come out of he tailpipes of modern combustion-engined cars in fractional amounts.

But the claim that they do not emit any carbon dioxide – the “emissions” that have nothing to do with air quality is – is false.

Electric cars run on electricity and electricity has to be generated, which generally results in the emission of C02, via the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas, coal and oil.

Even if all of the electricity used to power an EV could be sourced from windmills and solar arrays, there would still be emissions – and not just of C02 – associated with the manufacture of everything that goes into an EV. And everything that must subsequently be put into an EV to keep the EV working – i.e., the second battery pack it will need at some point during its lifetime.

But the point – the fact being hidden from the public – is that it is not necessary to convert the nation’s vehicle fleet to electric vehicles in order to reduce emissions to effectively zero.

That has already been done – using far more effective technology.

A PZEV vehicle that is 97-point-something percent as free of hydrocarbon emissions as a 100 percent zero emissions vehicle but which “emits” – in totality – lower overall emissions (of everything, including C02) over its lifetime (combustion engine cars have a much longer useful service life than electric cars) is  arguably – is factually – the “cleaner” vehicle.

And if it is more affordable, it is even more so since affordability is the more effective way to reduce the totality of the putative emissions reduction desired. It is of much less benefit – to the environment – to insist that everyone drive a 100 percent “zero emissions” vehicle nine out of ten of them cannot afford rather than everyone being able to afford a 97-point-something percent PZEV that costs half as much.

Insisting on 100 percent whatever it costs “zero emissions” cars is is like insisting that everyone replace every window in their home with triple-pane thermal windows whatever it costs because they are slightly better at keeping out the cold than the existing double-insulated windows in place – when it would be easier (and cheaper) to leave the windows in place and turn up the thermostat a little.  

Worse, actually, because the gain (well, the reduction) achieved by so-called “zero emissions” electric cars is less in the aggregate than that achieved by the PZEV vehicle.

It is also immaterial.

We are – we have been at – the point of arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as regards emissions since the 1990s, which was 30 years ago. It is why “emissions” had to be redefined to encompass carbon dioxide – a gas that had not been considered or categorized as an “emission” by the EPA or any other regulatory body until it became necessary to redefine what an “emission” is, since the previously defined ones – hydrocarbons – were no longer a problem.

That could not be conceded because if it were conceded there would no longer be a justification for all of these regulations – which got to the point, in the early 2000s, of pedantically insisting on fractional reductions at whatever cost, irrespective of any meaningful effect on air quality. It simply became a matter of pushing toward a zero emissions standard – because it is a standard only electric cars can meet and a certain element sees the electric car (rightly) as the vehicle for getting most people out of cars.

This has been the stated object of that element for decades.

And when the electric car is the only car you’re able to buy – or use – bet your bippie it will be discovered they’re not “zero emissions” after all. Suddenly, it will be said that new regulations are necessary to reduce the elsewhere emissions produced by the electric car, indirectly – during the manufacture of the EV and its components as well as via the generation of the electrical power it uses.

Wait and see.

. . .

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  1. We live in what I like to call the “Zero Cult”. Zero risk, zero emissions, zero sickness, zero deaths, zero viruses, zero “cases”, zero happiness…you get the point.

  2. One source of toxic emissions that liberals are cool with is insane people lighting buildings on fire either for fun or cause some black criminal died after committing crimes.

    They wont prosecute homeless arsonists or liberal rioters. When someone burns down a building or starts a forest fire it produces more pollution than every car in the country for the entire year, they get to do it again the next day. They get away with paying nothing, burning everything and living off of stolen golds while we are made to pay lots of money to maintain increasingly complicated, unreliable and expensive vehicles and rebuilding destroyed cities.

    And if we had healthy forests, they would absorb all of the pollution from cars instead of overpowering that pollution with fire.

    They have lots of insane plans to stop global warming – dimming the sun, spraying sulpheric acid in the sky via airplane, putting white plastic over half of the planet etc.

    If liberals were serious about maintaining or improving the environment. Looters and arsonists would be jailed or executed, facemasks and hazmat suits would only be allowed in hazardous environments. Regulations would be simplified so that we wouldnt need warehouses full of paperwork or networks of computers processing useless data. People would be educated on how to maintain and improve things instead of how to be perpetual victims who actually ruin everything themselves. And material processing would be done here in the country by americans, so that billions of tons of stuff wouldnt have to be shipped on 20,000 container ships continuously.

    • Well no. That Wendy’s they burned down served Big Business Burger and Chicken meat. It’s for the greater good. Of course they don’t think ahead and realize it’ll be rebuilt, let alone do they understand that they support Big Business with the phones, Jabs, etc.

      They don’t think. Or they truly believe in the Broken Window Fallacy; since those buildings were burned, it’ll create jobs to rebuild them. Either way, they don’t think.

  3. ‘pedantically insisting on fractional reductions at whatever cost’ — eric

    Pedants riding high in La La Land:

    ‘Small off-road engines, or SOREs, are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, causing spikes in asthma in workers who operate them.

    “Today, operating the best-selling commercial lawn mower for one hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as driving the best-selling 2017 passenger car, a Toyota Camry, about 300 miles — approximately the distance from Los Angeles to Las Vegas,” the California Air Resources Board said in a recent fact sheet.

    ‘California’s new law mandates that all SOREs used in the state starting in 2024 be zero-emission, and the state Legislature has set aside $30 million to help aid landscapers and gardeners in that transition.’


    Nothing catapults the propaganda like a pejorative acronym calling small engines ‘SOREs.’

    Wait till they start in on SCABs — Small Carbon Augmenting Bikes — a/k/a motorsickles.

    All brought to us by TWATs — Totally Wrong Asinine Twits — of Big Gov.


    • All in how it is framed, isn’t it?
      As in, “Driving a Toyota Camry for 300 miles emits no more pollutants than operating a lawn mower for one hour.” Clean car, eh?
      And exactly what is a “commercial” lawn mower? Is that one of the ride on kind?
      Or just any lawnmower which can be bought in normal commerce?

      Meanwhile, the SONGS* have been shut down…
      *San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

    • My late mother was saying decades ago that the control freaks wanted to go after lawn mowers; she mentioned that certain control freaks have been angling to do this for years. I’m surprised it took ’em this long!

    • The old statistic remember is that a 1997 camry produced less pollution in a year than an air cooled Vw in 100 miles. They should compare that lawnmower to an air cooled bug. The mower Probably runs 100x cleaner than the vw. Being that lawns are mowed maybe 1x per week, there is no reason for concern. 2 stroke Leaf blowers are pretty bad tho. I can smell their exhaust from a block away and they are too noisy. Landscapers are going to have more health problems from gas blowers and chainsaws. Id ban gas leafblowers, but not lawnmowers or tractors.

  4. One thing that is not even discussed to the point that the silence is deafening is nuclear energy.

    Nuclear energy is the only energy source capable of generating electricity in the quantities needed that produces no emissions at the point of generation, is not dependent on the wind blowing, the sun shining, or water flowing, and can be produced 100 percent right here in the USA.

    Yes, there are legit concerns about safety and nuclear waste. But there are newer reactor designs that don’t depend on a liquid coolant made to flow via pumps (as did the reactors at Fukushima and Three Mile Island), produce far less waste (and can even consume their own waste, as well as produce no weapons grade elements), are far more compact, and easier to operate than the ones in use today, which were actually designed in the 1950s to make weapons grade materials.

    Yet no one is saying a word about this.


    • Because the same psychos desperate to start a hot war with Russia and that tell Great Thunberg and President Brandon what to say aren’t interested in improving anyone’s life besides their own.

    • Maybe because, if not for copious gov’t subsidies, nuclear DOES NOT MAKE FINANCIAL SENSE! It costs about ten billion to build a nuclear plant, where as a natural gas plant costs about a billion. If the power companies didn’t receive subsidies to build them, they’d never get built; the management and shareholders would never stand for hemorrhaging money on that scale.

      Number two, nuclear DOES NOT WORK! I grew up near the Oyster Creek nuke plant in NJ. All the time during my teens, it seemed like every time I turned around, OC was shut down for this; OC was shut down for that. The local news ran this all the time. I wondered if OC ever-gasp-did what it was designed and built to do: generate electricity. To put it another way, Oyster Creek was so unreliable it made a Chevy Vega look good; I’m serious!

      SO! Just based on factors one and two alone, factors that conservatives and libertarians like to cite, nuclear plants should not be built. They cost too much. They can’t make a case on their own merits. Finally, they DO NOT WORK! Oyster Creek was constantly shut down; I don’t know how JCP&L ever made money with that albatross around its neck.

      Three, in the event that something goes wrong, the consequences are catastrophic. Names like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima are household names; they’re forever a part of our consciousness. SO! Even if there’s only a one in a million chance of something going wrong with a nuke plant, they shouldn’t be built; the consequences of an accident are so catastrophic that they’ll kill millions! Anyone within 100 miles of a nuke is in danger in the event of an accident and the right prevailing winds.

      Finally, nukes make waste-a lot of waste. The waste is stored on site for a while, but it can’t be kept there. Why? Because the nuke plant is making more of it all the time. So, that begs the question: WTF do you DO with all that radioactive waste? Where do you put it? You know that some of those elements have long half lives, right? Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 have half lives of 30 years; Plutonium-239 has half life of 24,000 years. IOW, this dangerous stuff will be around a long time. Since the waste is harmful, who, in their right mind, wants it put near them? If people don’t want nuclear waste near them, then where does it go? Where do we put it, especially if we honor the NAP to do no harm to others?

      There’s a better answer for our power needs: natural gas. One, we have plenty of it; we have centuries worth of the stuff. Two, it’s easy to transport via pipeline. Three, the transport of NG is safe. Four, it’s inexpensive-PROVIDED FJB didn’t try to stop its production! Five, it leaves no waste, other than CO2 and some water vapor.

      • Marky: The dirty secret is that there are few if any commercial nuclear power generating plants. They actually consume power from the grid. Some produce weapons, some are fake facilities that just waste money. Thats why they have giant diesel generators at every nuke plant. Fukushima melted down and exploded shortly after the diesel generators quit working. If they actually produced power, Fukushima would have used power generated by the reactors to keep the reactors cool. An actual nuclear power generating plant would simply recycle its own power during grid disruption and since it had 6 reactors, even if 5 were offline for damage or maintainence, 1 reactor could run the cooling and controls to prevent the others from going out of control.

        • Anon,

          I find it curious to have diesel generators at a nuke power plant. You make a great point! Why not use its own produced power?

    • Bryce- they talk about safe & cheap nuclear power, but its exceedingly dangerous and expensive. The reason that thorium salt reactors arent in every city is they dont actually work as advertised. Its the same situation with everything. Someone comes up with theories and models, real world stuff isnt as good, unforseen factors exist, and they cover up problems to save face untill its overwhelmingly obvious that complete retards cant deny its broken. Governments love to cover up accidents. No one Actually knows how many people died or got cancer from fallout or from cleanup work, its classified info how many barrels of nuclear waste were thrown in the ocean. and most of these materials are just permanently sitting in leaky temporary containers on site. The plans to put it in a magic safe, dry, geologically stable and chemically inert hole in the desert where nuclear waste will just chill forever is also a scam. Otherwise nuclear waste would be there instead of permanent temporary storage.

      The cost of building a nuke plant is absurd, it takes forever, and often they dont last very long.

      There is also the issue of incompetence, corruption and natural disasters. The operaters at Chernobyl thought the reactor was more stable and reliable than it actually was. Their overconfidence caused thousands of quick deaths and millions of cancers. Those people were far more competant and disciplined than any millenial/zoomer ive ever met. There were No smartphones to distract 1980s soviet workers

  5. Too bad they never count the “emissions” from all the private jets our overlords use flying to Davos or Pedophile Island. The 747 that takes whoever is president on his various errands probably uses more fuel on one trip than I’ll use in my lifetime.
    When they convert the presidential entourage of armored limos to all EV then I might believe they’re practical; not holding my breath.

    • Well, maybe Da Prez wanted Limo One to be an EV…but the Secret Service said, “No dice, Mr. President. We strongly advise against a vehicle with a highly flammable and chemically unstable power source. Furthermore, the motorcade would need to include a generator truck, which cannot fit on Air Force One.”

      Kinda like how the Obamas and Clintons sent their kids to Sidwell Friends Academy instead of the DC public schools: “We strongly advise against sending your children to schools in which the students are more heavily armed than we are.”

      • Public school and the private schools for the so-called elite are fundamentally different institutions. The later still is set up like the original american system, to produce independent people. The public schools and most of the private ones ordinary people can afford are set up on the prussian model to create obedient workers.

  6. I believe it was Simon Wiesenthal said when visiting the Soviet Union after WW11 is; common sense and rational thinking has no place here (Soviet Union).

    The rush to electric vehicles is not about progress towards a better goal but an evil one: control. The next Bite-me president will just shut all E-Vehicles down when the next mass psychosis manufactured crisis is released upon this formally free nation. And…what a bunch of whinny cowards this country has become. Maybe we don’t deserve our freedom. Maybe Arnold the Prius Killer is right “screw your freedoms”.

    Here is a quote from Simon Wiesenthal worth noting:
    “Where does the duty to resist begin? […] It begins wherever injury to human beings begins through the violation of their rights. If people resist from the very beginning, then they later have no need for a heroic struggle. For those who violate human rights are always a minority and one must show them in good time, before it is too late, the limits of their power.”

  7. “And when the electric car is the only car you’re able to buy – or use – bet your bippie it will be discovered they’re not “zero emissions” after all. Suddenly, it will be said that new regulations are necessary to reduce the elsewhere emissions produced by the electric car, indirectly – during the manufacture of the EV and its components as well as via the generation of the electrical power it uses.”

    You can bet money on this! Constant baiting and switching, and incremental, ratcheting of authoritarianism is what government does. This will be orchestrated for the benefit of lobbying government cronies, who will be the ones to “fix” the newly-discovered emissions. The new regulations will of course be “safe and effective” until they are not and then a new lobbying government crony will step in to “fix” that debacle. Rinse and repeat.

    • “And when the electric car is the only car you’re able to buy – or use – bet your bippie it will be discovered they’re not “zero emissions” after all.”

      The logical outcome of that would be a restriction on the *NUMBER* of not-really-zero-emission vehicles which will be *permitted* to be manufactured. Three guesses who will be *permitted* to ride in one. Hint: “official business.”

      Peasants will have to content themselves with electric bicycles, which will be mischaracterized as “active transport.” Breeding permits will be hard to come by, and homosexual activity encouraged (latter already happening). Males will be gelded at puberty after collecting their semen for possible future use. Natural reproduction will be virtually unknown. Presale of vital organs will become commonplace, and “Partsbody” will be a common middle name…maybe. Just one (possible) future.

      • Bicycles won’t be allowed. They’ll be banned/tracked/restricted shortly after motorcycles. Even though I am not in the best shape right now in a little over an hour I can be 25 miles away from where I start. The government has no control over that. Thus they’ll take that control if the precedents are achieved to do it.

  8. All sin is sin Eric. And no birthing person is just “nearly pregnant.”

    Make no mistake, this is the Gia religion, not science. It has all the indicators: No one is pure enough, you can tithe, purchase indulgences and put on the sackcloth and ashes. Simulated self-flagulation. The speaking of the holy verses. The elders who can cite any study, answer any question, always with ever more complicated messages.

    And there will never be salvation until the sin is excised from the whole!

    • Very true, RK –

      I just wish more people understood how deeply they’ve been lied to about “emissions.” Specifically, how few of them are being “emitted” by modern cars. It’s tragic. Engineers have succeeded in designing nearly zero-emissions vehicles that work, which make economic sense. All being thrown away for the sake of a religious cult that insists on an impossible standard.

      • Diesels are inherently even cleaner. Without any external controls on them, they produced less pollution than a gas car with catalytic converters and air injection. But if lunatics get away with calling life giving CO2 a pollutant, then nothing is safe.

      • I told my wife that if we left one of our well-maintained cars running in the closed garage, it’d take hours for the gases to kill you. If that doesn’t show how clean car exhausts are, I don’t know what does.

    • You and Eric are correct RK. I remember when I was young and not crazy, LA and Phoenix always had brown toxic clouds caused by cars and traffic that I could see.

      Now, even though air pollution still exists in those cities, it seems far less now than it was the 70s, this despite 20x the population. So I’m just supposed to believe what I’m told. Never mind my lying eyes.

      • >far less now than it was the 70s, this despite 20x the population.
        I can vouch for that, at least as regards western Riverside County.
        The air in Riverside was *FOUL* in the late 1970s. It is much cleaner today, though we have 2,000,000 more people living in Riv Co today, not to mention adjacent San Berdo Co. Pollution controls for autos & stationary sources *DO* work.

        >nearly zero-emissions vehicles that work, which make economic sense.
        Problem is, many, if not most, greenies & pols are innumerate, as well as ultra-orthodox climate religious. The concept of an asymptote, or of diminishing incremental return, is foreign to their “thinking.”

        >speaking of the holy verses
        As well as wearing of the Holy Face Covering (cue Beneath the Planet of the Apes).

  9. In a similar sense, an article on Lew Rockwell discusses how ‘green’ energy (wind, in this case) never, ever delivers on its promise of untold free energy.

      • Plus when it’s REALLY windy the windmills shut down. The blizzard last weekend had 90mph gusts on the outer Cape and Nantucket where they want to put these things. Wasn’t much solar during that storm either, thank goodness for my gas furnace which kept me toasty warm throughout. Can’t wait to see these greenies freezing their butts off once they replace their evil “fossil fuels” with electric heat pumps.

        • There’s a big push to electrify everything, yet they’re going to shut down the *2-Gigawatt* Mystic Generating Plant. What a clown show. Clowns of the evil variety.

      • I have been told by multiple generation industry insiders that commercial windmills have a 10 year useful life, and a 20 year payback. Ponder on this- the only way to make them pay back is to charge the customers a LOT more for the energy. Energy from conventional/natural sources up until recent inflation could be generated for 2-4 cents per kilowatt hour. From solar farms and windmills, it is closer to a dime per kilowatt hour. My municipal utility sells power profitably for .10/kwHr. Our electricity comes from coal and hydropower, but mostly from coal.

        California charges around .40/kwHr because of green theology implemented as law. And the Communists are trying to do this to the whole country- but they are going to have lots of problems because in most of the country affordable power (and affordable personal transportation) are matters of life and death.

        When it gets cold, we’re gonna burn something.

  10. The notion that the US Psychopaths are concerned about either emissions or climate change is a fantasy. They are concerned about one, and only one thing. That is the ability to let their psychosis run wild. Collateral damage be damned. As long as they can increase their power and wealth, your wellbeing is last on their list. The only time they demonstrate “concern” for it is when it coincides with their own benefit. Whether directly, or through politics.

    • “The notion that the US Psychopaths are concerned about either emissions or climate change is a fantasy.”

      or that they are concerned about your health.

      • It is, of course, about power.

        And power is one of the few things that are a zero-sum game.

        Mass/energy is conserved.

        Power works the same way. Either you control yourself, or someone else controls you. You can’t both do it at the same time.


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