Hybrid in the Carpool lane? Not so fast.

There’s been a lot of talk about a new law allowing Hybrid cars to use the carpool lane even if only one person is in them. This is supposed to encourage people to dump their gas guzzlers in favor of the hybrids in hopes of time during rush hour as well as money at the pump. Well it became official yesterday and if you own a Honda Civic, Honda Insight or Toyota Prius you can apply for an $8 sticker which gives you CPLA (car pool lane access). If you’ve got any of the other hybrid cars currently on the market (there’s 4 of them), or are eyeing of the 13 new models that are expected by 2008 you are out of luck. They haven’t been approved and don’t qualify for the pass. Yahoo! News has more details and quotes from people you’ve never heard of.

7 Replies to “Hybrid in the Carpool lane? Not so fast.”

  1. They have Honda Civic hybrids on the road.

    I think hybrids are great for not guzzling gas, but having hybrids on the road with just one driver doesn’t address the issue of congestion of the roads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reduction of dependency on oil… but is it going to ease the traffic situation to allow hybrids in carpool lanes?

  2. KPCC (89.3FM) had a report on this morning’s news (embedded in the NPR ME feed), including interviews with various people. One of the interviewees is the Sacto DMV official in charge of the program and he said that you have to put four (4!) stickers on your hybrid – front bumper, rear bumper, L and R rear quarter panels. He emphasized that these are not window decals, but stickers applied to the body of the car. And the program is not quite finalized yet. But he had all the contact info.

  3. As a Prius owner, I’m gonna be entitled to one of these passes and I’m torn about it.

    First, if the goal of carpool lanes is to reduce congestion by getting people to ride-share. But a big bonus of ridesharing is reduction of emissions.

    Granted, by letting high efficiency hybrids in carpool lanes they’re polluting less, but they sure weren’t polluting much to begin with. If the government is really interested in reducing emissions they should be making an effort to get old cars off the road (those that are exempt because of their design and age from smog tests).

    If you really wanted to reduce emissions, let other cars in the carpool lane where they can fly along efficently and keep the hybrids mired in slow and go traffic where they emit practically nothing.

    Oh, wait, I was applying logic to government policy.

    Ultimately the HOV pass is a way to give a bonus to hybrid owners – but at the moment, there’s no shortage of folks trying to buy them: we don’t really need the $2,000 tax credit or the HOV sticker to make the decision. I understood that the was an effort to boost early adopters with these programs, but gas-electric hybrids are on their way to wide adoption and no longer need these programs, let alone new ones created for them.

  4. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I’m applying. (Or not, goind to DMV is almost bad as going to INS)

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