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AddSurprise, letting solo drivers in HOV lanes causes problems

Anyone who gets steamed at a Toyota Prius driver trying to hypermile in front of them now has another reason to dislike hybrid-vehicle drivers. They're not earning their right to drive solo in high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes for free, according to a report from Cornell University's Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. In fact, they're costing the US economy millions of dollars per year.

AddBMW i8 now has 10-month waiting list in UK

Reports that the BMW i8 would be a popular plug-in vehicle have been circulating since stories claiming 'sold out' status circulated late last year. Those turned out not to be entirely true, but now that deliveries have actually started, the $160,000 EV is proving to be only available to the patient in posh English shops.

47Shanghai mulling congestion charges to combat pollution

With notoriously bad traffic and pollution, Shanghai may institute a congestion charge, similar to what's been seen in London and Singapore (and considered in San Francisco). The gist of congestion charging is that drivers are charged a small amount for entering a certain part of the city - in the UK, entering central London between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday, costs drivers 10 pounds ($16.16).

AddLondon congestion charge could shift to exempt only EVs

Electric vehicle owners may be the last ones standing cruising next year when it comes to London drivers that can dodge the city's congestion charges, UK-based This Is Money reports. New emission rules, which would still have to be approved by Mayor Boris Johnson, would cut congestion-exempt vehicle-emissions limits by about 25 percent, leaving only electric vehicles and a few hybrids below that threshold. Currently, there are about 19,000 mostly small-diesel-engined vehicles in the city who don

28London motorists owe about $270M in congestion charges

Drivers in the UK owe a staggering $270 million in congestion charge fees, according to Transport for London. Surprisingly enough, that figure comes even as the number of those attempting to avoid paying the fines has declined. In 2010, 52,103 drivers skipped out on paying, while that figure plopped down to 33,684 in 2011. Transport for London says a "significant" amount of the owed money can be chalked up to diplomatic missions that refuse to pay up. Authorities in the UK have begun pursuing of

AddBeijing to levy congestion charge to ease traffic, reduce pollution

Chronic traffic woes have led officials in Beijing to take action, again. A congestion charge will soon be levied on drivers wishing to travel on select roads in the Chinese capital. Xinhua news agency says the charge is to encourage residents of Beijing to use public transit or bicycles for inner-city jaunts. Xinhua did not detail how the congestion charge will be collected or which roads would be affected.

AddWhat's better than green cars? Some European cities say no cars

Americans drivers are abandoning their full-sized vehicles for compacts. Pure electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and plug-in, gas-powered cars like the Chevy Volt are becoming more readily available as 2012 approaches – and there are several new models getting ready to join them on dealer lots. Meanwhile, manufacturers in Europe and Asia are preparing to crank out a horde of microcars so small they make the ForTwo look like a Fleetwood. For a driver interested in going green, it sure s

AddReport: London Mayor Boris Johnson hits Obama's motorcade with congestion charge

Rules are rules, and they apply equally to everyone – including the President of the United States. Especially when he's on foreign soil.

68London Mayor Boris Johnson hits Obama's motorcade with congestion charge

Rules are rules, and they apply equally to everyone – including the President of the United States. Especially when he's on foreign soil.

AddOpposite World: Is traffic good for the environment?

Traffic congestion is good for the environment. Wait, come again? Are we talking about Bizarro World here? Actually, according to Wall Street Journal writer David Owen, excessive congestion can actually be a good thing when it convinces drivers to explorer transportation alternatives instead of sitting in endless traffic jams.

37Keeping Drivers at Bay: San Francisco mulls congestion charge

Boris Johnson for Mayor of... San Francisco? Our favorite municipal chief executive may be taking his time in dismantling the congestion charge in London, but his services may soon be needed in the City by the Bay, as local bureaucrats there contemplate instituting a new charge for motorists wishing to enter – or leave – the city's downtown core.

AddSan Francisco could soon be first US city with a congestion charge

The city by the bay could soon be the first American city to get a congestion charge, and if current plans go forward it will be complex. San Francisco is currently debating a plan that would charge motorists not only for entering the congestion zone, but also for leaving it. The charges would also only happen at certain times of day, currently set for 6-9 am and 3-6 pm. The problem is that whenever you do something like this the boundaries are arbitrary. There are bound to be people caught out

10London to consider scrapping congestion charge for economy's sake

London Mayor Boris Johnson is considering scrapping the city's oft-maligned Congestion Charge. The pay-to-drive strategy was instituted back in 2003 as a way of reducing traffic in the busy British capital, but it has met with fierce opposition from motorists and some politicians. Shortly after taking office, Johnson got rid of the latest extension which instituted the C-Charge in western parts of the city, but the Congestion Charge Zone is still alive and well in Central London. While it may be

AddPorsche donates Congestion Charge legal awards to charity

Earlier this year, a major storm was brewing in London as then-mayor Ken Livingstone was locked in a legal battle with Porsche over an increased Congestion Charge on its performance cars. After quite a bit of legal wrangling back and forth, Livingstone's ejection in favor of new London mayor Boris Johnson and the roll-back of the C-Charge in general, Porsche came out the victor. We're not really sure what to think about the issue, especially considering that each side had its own data suggesting

AddLondon congestion charge zone expansion canceled by new mayor

Prior to the mayoral election in London, England earlier this year, former mayor Ken Livingstone had grand plans to expand the scope of the city's congestion charge. Following the election, the man commonly referred to as "Red Ken" was supplanted by Boris Johnson and things began to change. Johnson has now decided that the expansion of the congestion zone to the western part of London will be canceled. Surprisingly when Johnson asked Londoners what they thought of the congestion zone expansion,

18Porsche claims victory in London congestion charge case

London motorists can rejoice after a planned £25 daily congestion charge was lifted by a signature of consent order by an administrative court in London. Porsche was a major voice against the charge, and the German automaker went full-tilt in the courts to throw out former mayor Ken Livingstone's hefty tax. The proposed tax likely didn't do much good for Livingsone's re-election campaign, which he lost to Boris Johnson in May, who campaigned against the charge.

15London Mayor: "No More Congestion Charges"

Motorists in London had high hopes when they elected Boris Johnson as their mayor. The former Conservative party leader is a well-known gearhead, and even moonlights as an automotive journalist. And those hopes may just yet be vindicated, as Mayor Johnson begins rolling back the Congestion Charges instituted by his reviled predecessor "Red" Ken Livingstone.

AddBMW to introduce 3-series that gets under 120g/km of CO2

The advent of changes to London's congestion charge that makes the fees based on a vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions has prompted many automakers to tweak some of their models to get their emissions down. Any car that emits less than 120g/km of carbon dioxide is exempt from having to pay the charge. The latest brand to go after that threshold is BMW with their 318d. The existing version is rated at 123g/km, so BMW will make some changes to get into the charge free band. BMW engineers feel they

AddLondon's Congestion Charge will increase CO2 emissions?

We don't want to take sides on London's Congestion Charge, but we are keenly interested in what the charge will mean for the environment and motorists. Ken Livingstone claims that the charge is intended to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions while Porsche claims that the charges are unnecessarily high and unfair. New evidence that Porsche has located, though, indicates that CO2 emissions will actually increase if the charges go into effect as planned. In fact, Porsche claims that the mayors offi

28NYC congestion charge gets blocked by state

Manhattan's latest attempt at disguised taxation has ground to a halt in the most trivial fashion. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed congestion charge for cars and trucks headed into the city below 60th street was summarily ignored by lawmakers. Rather than a contentious fight in the state assembly, the clock was simply run out and the bill died without being put to a vote. The failure of Bloomberg's plan means that New York City will also miss out on 350 million federally earmarked dollars for

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