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State Set A 70,000-Sticker Maximim In January For Plug-In Hybrid Drivers

California is on the verge of running out of green HOV-lane stickers for solo-driving access.

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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.

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Are hybrids officially swimming in the US mainstream? A recent federal government amendment appears to imply as much, since it says that hybrid drivers won't be able to count on getting solo access to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. And the Prius Nation sighs.

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A few years ago it was not uncommon to hear a Toyota Prius buyer say, "I got it for the sticker." The yellow sticker they were referring to allowed the driver to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (carpool) lane even when alone in the car which, as every other LA driver knows, led to the frequent sight of a Prius with a sole occupant zooming by at 94 miles per hour along the center barrier.

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Jonathon Friedman had his day in a San Francisco court, then Jurist Frank Drago had his say, declaring Friedman guilty. The case centered on a sheaf of corporation papers that Friedman used to make a statement about corporate 'personhood.' Driving in a carpool lane in the Bay Area, Friedman was pulled over for not having at least two people in the car. His response was to show the officer his business papers and, citing US Supreme Court decisions that have affirmed that corporations are people,

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A driver in San Rafael, California is attempting to appeal a traffic citation for driving alone in a High Occupancy Vehicle lane. Jonathan Frieman and his attorney, Ford Greene, argue that since Frieman had corporate incorporation papers in his car when he was stopped by an officer, he was actually carpooling at the time. Technically, the state of California's definition of personhood includes both "natural persons and corporations." But Frieman's out to do more than just skirt a $478 traffic ti

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Those new green stickers in the Golden State haven't exactly been golden.

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Following in the footsteps of the Chevrolet Volt and the Honda Civic Natural Gas, the 105-MPGe 2012 Ford Focus Electric has been granted HOV lane access in California by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB not only gave the upcoming all-electric vehicle the ability to let people drive alone in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane but also qualified it for an incentive that affords buyers an extra $2,500 off through the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).

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Following in the footsteps of the Chevrolet Volt and the Honda Civic Natural Gas, the 105-MPGe 2012 Ford Focus Electric has been granted HOV lane access in California by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB not only gave the upcoming all-electric vehicle the ability to let people drive alone in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane but also qualified it for an incentive that affords buyers an extra $2,500 off through the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).

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An update at least a year-and-a-half in the making, General Motors has just started delivering 2012 Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in models that are eligible for California customers to drive alone in that state's high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes, as the automaker looks to spur sales from the most populous U.S. state.

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Whodathunk that banning hybrid vehicles from California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes would lead to additional congestion on the state's highways and even longer commute times? Transportation engineers at the University of California, Berkeley did, and that's why the University's researchers are now pushing for HOV access to be granted to more vehicles, not less.

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Honda, Ford, Clean Energy, the California Natural Gas Coalition and Plug In America penned a letter to California senator Mark DeSaulnier, chair of the senate transportation and housing committee. The letter argues against the extension of the state's "yellow sticker" program that allows some single-occupant hybrid vehicles to use the state's HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes.

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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.

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