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AddChevrolet Volt will not be eligible for HOV-lane access until mid-2012 *UPDATE

Prospective owners of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf shouldn't get too excited about driving in California carpool lanes as soon as they take delivery. Late Tuesday night California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 535 into law, extending access to the high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes to certain very low and zero emissions vehicles. This new class of vehicles known as Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (enh-ATPZEVs) and includes plug-in hybrids like and batter

AddMaryland approves HOV access, $2,000 tax break for plug-ins

Drivers in Maryland now have two new reasons to opt for a plug-in electric vehicle the next time go new car shopping. Governor Martin O'Malley (above) has reportedly signed bills this week that provide for car pool lane access for plug-in vehicles and a new $2,000 tax break. The High Occupancy Vehicle lane access is valid for three years starting this October for "qualified" vehicles equipped with a special permit. Buyers will also receive an instant $2,000 break on excise taxes at the time of

Add"Prius perks" ending in December; but there's still time to make divisive statements

We're coming to the end of the time when it makes sense (?) to ride around with a mannequin dressed as Gandalf. Yes, carpool lane access for some hybrid drivers in California will end this year. The deadline gives us a chance to look back and consider what the so-called "Prius perks" got us.

AddHOV stickers on clean cars worth a solid $1,200 from your insurance company

A few years ago, a little yellow sticker on your ride was worth about $4,000 on the used car market. These "Clean Air Vehicle" stickers allow clean cars with just one occupant into the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in California and can save some commuters up to two hours a day. Wow. If time is money, then what is the ability to speed along in the fast lane worth in 2009, especially since the state stopped handing the badges out a while ago?

AddAn oldie but a goodie: using a Gandalf mannequin passenger to ride the HOV lans

Even with low gas prices, there is still a side benefit to burning less gas when you carpool: driving in the HOV lane. In some cities, these high-occupancy vehicle lanes are restricted to vehicles with at least two or three people and, sometimes, to hybrid vehicles as well (well, some hybrids, anyway). This is how it's supposed to work.

AddU.K. opens its first HOV lane

Most of us here in the U.S. don't get the opportunity to drive around in the UK very often, and that includes myself. Still, I was a bit shocked when I read the press release I've now posted after the break, which announced that the UK has just opened the country's first High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. So, they're a little ahead in roundabouts, and we're a little ahead in carpooling.

AddCarpool stickers worth $4,000 on used-car market

If you're shopping for a used Prius, expect to pay $4,000 more for one with the carpool sticker. That's what Chris Woodyard of USA Today found out when he asked Kelley Blue Book to sample prices. Carpool stickers allow the vehicle to cruise the HOV lanes in California even if there is only one person in the vehicle. The state gave out only 85,000 stickers, and the stickers stay with the vehicle, not the vehicle owner should he purchase a new Prius or another qualified vehicle. KBB's sample showe

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