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Hybrid vehicles on display at Whole Foods

Subaru marketers promote three new Partial Zero Emission Vehicles

Posted: June 23, 2008 1:48 a.m.
Updated: August 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Marketers stood outside Whole Foods Market all day Sunday in order to get people to sign up for free test drives on the new Subaru Forester, which has one of the cleanest burning engines on the market.

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Lost in the outcry of rising gasoline prices in the Santa Clarita Valley and around the world is the amount of emissions and waste emanating from our vehicles. Automobile-makers are trying to do their part in building vehicles that are cleaner and more fuel efficient.

Many auto manufacturers are building electric or hydrogen cell vehicles that are consistent with California's stringent rules on engine emissions. However, a few auto manufacturers have developed a technology known as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles, which only emit 10 percent emissions from their engines.

One of those auto manufacturers is Subaru, who had marketers at the Whole Foods in Valencia on Sunday to promote the 2009 Forrester, which is a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle. Claiming it has a green, environmentally-friendly plant unlike no other in Lafayette, Ind., Subaru hopes the Forrester, three models of which were on display at Whole Foods, will provide drivers with yet another option to contribute to limit the amount of dirt released from their vehicles.

"It's an alternative," said Jeannine Upperman, a marketer who promoted the Subaru Forrester at Whole Foods. "It's very eco-friendly."

According to Upperman, the Forrester burns up to 90 percent fewer emissions than unrestricted engines.

"Even hybrid vehicle burn a lot of emissions when they are in gasoline mode," she said.

The technology in the Forrester was developed after a compromise was reached between auto manucaturers and the state board that overlooks motor vehicle pollution and develops strict standards for vehicles sold in California.

Auto manufacturers were allowed to manufacture such vehicles after a compromise was reached with the California Air Resource Board, allowing companies to postpone production of mandated zero emission vehicles such as electric or hydrogen cell vehicles.

A vehicle with Partial Zero Emission technology is one that has zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system, according to state officials.

In terms of gas efficiency, Partial Zero Emission Vehicles are consistent with other vehicles. The Forrester, for example, averages 20 miles per gallon in the city, and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. However, Advanced Technology Partial Emission Vehicles have much better fuel efficiency and are just as clean.

Only five states have stringent motor vehicle pollution control rules - California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont - and are the only states where someone may purchase a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle.

Six other states - Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington - are on the verge of enacting similar stringent standards.

Unlike hybrids or other alternative fuel vehicles, Partial Zero Emission Vehicles do not provide consumers with incentives to purchase automobiles with the clean-burning fuel technology, except for an extended emissions warranty. Other alternate-fuel vehicle provide the driver incentives such as driving in carpool lanes without additional passengers.

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