Out with the sort-of-old, in with the new-ish. The Arizona Department of Transportation has updated its list of vehicles that can legally drive in the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane no matter how many people are in the car. The changes show us how the green car landscape is changing.

Only 587 Energy Efficient plates have been issued so far.

Standard hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight are now relegated back to the normal traffic lanes while most any car with a plug has been given the green light to cruise around Phoenix in HOV style. There are now nine plug-in vehicles on the list of eligible EVs that can get an Energy Efficient license plate: BMW i3 with Range Extender, Cadillac ELR, Chevy Volt, Fisker Karma, Ford C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and the Toyota Prius Plug-In.

You might think that vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and the pure EV version of the i3 are missing, but they not. They just quality for the Alternative Fuel license plate, which offers the HOV benefit but doesn't have a limit on the number of plates Arizona will assign. There is a 10,000-unit cap for the Energy Efficient plates (only 587 have been issued so far).

Anyone driving a normal hybrid with an Energy Efficient plate will be allowed to keep driving in the HOV lanes "until they sell/transfer the vehicle," the Arizona DOT says. If that driver then buys a new qualifying vehicle, the plate can be transferred. If not, then, "the owner must surrender the license plate to any MVD or Authorized Third Party (ATP) office." The Arizona Republic talked to current non-plug Prius drivers who say they don't necessarily want to upgrade to the more expensive plug-in version, but that's just the new the cost to not bother coordinating a carpool in the first place.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      1454
      • 1 Day Ago
      You are a god damn moron. Please shut up, you ignorant fool. The overall "carbon footprint" of everyone with an ENTIRE extra lane to use, tool. I get you are an ignorant POS, but learn just a tiny bit of engineering/physics and you might have a clue.
      Technoir
      • 1 Day Ago
      1454 Shut up and go away, you dumb hillbilly. Get into your old lifted truck and go mudding a bit; we don't need your nonsense on here, you fagget.
      1454
      • 1 Day Ago
      It would be nice if idiots, like you, could objectively look at a situation for once in your lives. A reduction in everyones travel time far outweighs the minimal gains in total "carbon output" that everyone sees from 5 "volts" or "leafs" driving in the HOV lane. Clearly if the incentive of driving in those lanes were enough to change behavior, then they would have more capacity utilization. But stupid ideas like this don't change behavior, especially when the cost difference is still too high to compete. However, like usual, lets not let facts, logic, or reason weigh down bad government policy. March on good soldier, march on.
      Donny Hoover
      • 1 Day Ago
      Are we ignoring the emissions from the coal plants producing that electricity and the environmental damage caused to produce those batteries? Or are we continuing with the lack of common sense and only counting what comes out of the tailpipe?
      Izaerian
      • 1 Day Ago
      Some of these make marginal sense but things like the Porsche are asinine. Just because something HAS a plug doesn't mean it's better than other hybrids. They take a Prius off which gets near 50mpg and replace it with a Panamera that gets 30hwy if you baby it just right. Why not base the HOV on ACTUAL efficiency, not on a plug. I could go install an electrical outlet on a Honda Civic and get better efficiency...
      jebibudala
      • 1 Day Ago
      Why don't we take it a step further and confine ALL hybrids+electrics to the HOV lane. That way the slow pokes don't create traffic jams in standard lanes.
      WJK
      • 1 Day Ago
      If you are not carpooling, you do not belong in the HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE LANE regardless of what "special" vehicle you are driving.
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Day Ago
      Leave it to the idiots in Arizona to come up with such a complicated and convoluted system. How about just letting ALL these EVs and even hybrids into the HOV lanes. HOV lanes typically are very lightly used, and even a mild hybrid offers some gas savings over a traditional ICE. Encourage the use of these more energy efficient vehicles by letting them all access.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 1 Day Ago
      It strange because EPA emission rating for a regular Prius (222 g/mi) is lower than many of those plugins using electricity in AZ. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?zipCode=85003&year=2014&vehicleId=34770&action=bt3
      1454
      • 1 Day Ago
      No, more bad government policy to go with an already bad government policy? That could never happen.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Day Ago
      The ELR is gorgeous.
        1454
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I can't believe anyone upvoted this. It's terrible. The Volt is the better looking of the two....And it's ugly. Honestly, the Opel version was the best looking one. The ELR is good looking like the Karma is good looking....... It's not. The Model S, now that is a gorgeous car.
        Buckus Comments
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I agree. It's also insanely expensive. I think maybe 50-60K was the sweet spot, not 75.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Day Ago
      Great, so now the state is subsidizing COAL cars. Where else do you think the electricity comes from? What about the batteries which are made from rare Earth materials?
        colin.shark
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        It come from the Earth.
          jimmy_james44
          • 1 Day Ago
          @colin.shark
          God gave us Sun, Wind and Coal. Then HE gave us free will and said "Pick one, grow or kill yourself, your choice".
        Buckus Comments
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Most of Arizona's electricity is from Nuclear, hydro, or natural gas.
        Filipe
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Plain myth. Please endulge yourself with a clear explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpX-9OyEr4&list=UUzz4CoEgSgWNs9ZAvRMhW2A
        Technoir
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        FuelToTheFire You're just angry because you lost the little you have by betting against Tesla stock, haha!
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