2004 Volvo S60 and V70 Receive EPA's Highest Ratings
For Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) Engines
S60 sport sedan and V70 wagon score perfect 10s for outstanding emissions control
Irvine, CA (December 2, 2003) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal organization responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, has rated Volvo's Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) engines a perfect 10 for outstanding emissions control. The Volvo S60 sport sedan and the V70 wagon both earned top marks from the EPA on the agency's Green Vehicle Guide Website - www.epa.gov/greenvehicles.com - a site designed to assist consumers in understanding the importance of fuel economy and emissions, and their impact on our environment.
The PZEV technology, which earned Volvo Car Corporation's (VCC) development team the 2002 Henry Ford Technology Award, produces emissions that are lower in hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide than the air going into the engine. In other words, the car actually purifies the air, ridding it of these pollutants. To rate a perfect 10 an engine must emit no more than one pound of pollutants per 15,000 miles driven.
"Protecting the environment is one of Volvo's core values, and it's something we take very seriously," commented Vic Doolan, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA). "To receive the EPA's highest rating with our PZEV-powered S60 and V70 only underscores the fact that when it comes to improving our natural environment, Volvo means business."
The outstanding emissions performance of these vehicles is owed largely to computerized emissions control during the start-up process, and to a modified fuel system designed to reduce evaporative emissions. At least 90 percent of all emissions from a car are emitted from the exhaust pipe within the first minute of starting. Once the catalytic converter is hot, the emissions basically drop to zero.
To solve the cold-starting problem, Volvo engineers developed VVT (Variable Valve Timing), which enables the car to be started with excess air - in other words, with a lean mixture, or 'negative choke.' This enables large quantities of air to be heated, bringing the catalytic converter to working temperature very quickly. New software was also developed to control the starting sequence with a high degree of precision.
Computerized control of the engine's intake and exhaust valves, also known as variable valve timing (VVT), is used to manage emissions during the vehicle's cold start routine. First, the opening of the intake valve is delayed, which improves the air/fuel mixture and enhances stability during combustion. Second, the combustion process is run very late, burning up fuel on the cylinder wall and reducing HC and NOx emissions. Thirdly, the exhaust valve opening is delayed, bringing the hydrocarbon-rich exhaust gas "residual" back into the cylinder, further reducing HC emissions.
The PZEV S60 and V70 also cut evaporative emissions to near-zero levels, enabling the vehicles to receive Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) credits from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Evaporative emissions are gasoline vapors that escape the tank, fuel system, and engine before the fuel reaches the inside of the cylinders. Volvo's engineers developed an evaporative emissions control system that uses two different canisters to trap the emissions. One canister sits close to the fuel tank and contains three chambers filled with activated carbon. Downstream from the first canister sits another, called the Hydro Carbon Scrubber (HCS), which contains a honeycomb structure coated with activated carbon. The carbon in these canisters traps the evaporative hydrocarbon gases, preventing them from leaking out into the atmosphere. Once the car is running, the trapped emissions are sucked out of the canister and burned up in the engine.
Producing 165 horsepower (just three less than non-PZEV 2.4-liter Volvo engines), the PZEV cars are powered by 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-5 cylinder engines. Additionally, all components are manufactured to ensure long durability. The emissions warranty covers up to 150,000 miles or 15 years, whichever comes first. Normally-aspirated S60s and V70s sold in California, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are equipped with the PZEV system.
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