A ZEV is a vehicle that emits close to zero pollutants. As of 2021, ZEV was defined by California as having 98% cleaner emissions than the current model year vehicle. Vehicles considered to be ZEVs include:
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV) – A vehicle with an electric motor powered by batteries that plug into the electric grid to charge
- Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) – A vehicle with an electric motor powered by a hydrogen fuel cell
A partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV) runs on gasoline or diesel but provides significantly lower emissions than standard gasoline or diesel vehicles. An example of a PZEV is:
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – A vehicle with both an electric motor powered by batteries that plug into the electric grid to charge and a combustion engine fueled by gasoline
ZEVs are also called new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in Chinese regulations and “low-emission vehicles” (LEVs) or “zero low-emission vehicles” (ZLEVs) in European Union regulations.