To PZEV or not PZEV…

Eco-Habitat’s first and only vehicle is a new 2011 Subaru Outback PZEV.  What is “PZEV” ?  It stands for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.  Based on the upcoming California emissions standards, this Subaru has a special emissions system that reduces tailpipe emissions by 90%.  Subaru sells only PZEV versions of its cars in many U.S. states, yet in Canada it is only available on certain models – why would that be ?

Here is a report on the Outback PZEV (from the Vancouver Free Press): “The latest engineering goody to be brought forward by Subaru is its Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle system. Found in Legacy, Outback and Forester models, PZEV basically reduces tailpipe fumes through the use of a super-efficient charcoal air-filtration system, redesigned fuel injectors, a reprogrammed Electronic Control Model, and a beefed-up catalytic converter. Slightly advanced ignition also heats up the catalytic converter more promptly than usual, further reducing the amount of unburned gases escaping through the system during cold starts.     You could probably argue that all of this is as much a case of fine-tuning as it is new technology. But either way, the results, says Subaru, give PZEV models almost 90-percent cleaner exhaust than most new gasoline-fuelled vehicles and are just a whisker away from a zero-emissions rating. And this is without sacrificing performance or fuel economy.”

In the EPA ratings of vehicles based on air pollution, the Outback PZEV gets a 9.5 out of 10, the highest rating given, and the same score as Toyota Prius and other highly-efficient hybrids.

So when Eco-Habitat is not walking or cycling to get around, at least its vehicle is as Green as can be.

Check out a Subaru PZEV for your next vehicle, or another vehicle with this amazingly-simple yet powerful technology.  Many other manufacturers also offer PZEV, so look for it and ask for it.  Every car can make a difference !


LED Lighting

I have been eagerly watching the development of LED lighting, as it has great potential, but also is very expensive.  But as volumes go up, prices will keep dropping.

At my city house, the outside lights are on a timer to turn on at dusk, off at sunset.  The house has 8 exterior lights – the front, side and back of the house.  Each has a 40 watt bulb, but are dimmed to about 75% – therefore 8 lights x 30 watts = 240 watts on 8 to 12 hours every single night of the year.  Drives me crazy to “waste” that much energy.

But this week at Reno-Depot I found a PAR 20 LED floodlight for $ 9.00.  Bought one to try out.  Light has that blue-ness to it, but works great.  And consume 2 watts !

So now 8 lights x 2 watts x 75% (from dimming) = 12 watts.  95% less energy !  Now I have to go out and buy seven more !

Bring on the LED’s !