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15Honda leads pack with four HOV qualifying vehicles in California

Honda is tooting its fuel-efficient horn, boasting that it has more vehicles than any other manufacturer – four – that qualify for access to California's coveted HOV lanes.

42Banning hybrids from HOV lanes slows everyone down

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.

15Honda, Ford, Plug In America and others argue against extension of California's "yellow sticker" program

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.

AddLA to charge a toll for driving solo in HOV lanes with new ExpressLanes

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will convert sections of Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 from high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to what it calls "ExpressLanes," which will allow drivers who fly solo if they're willing to pay a toll. To fight congestion, toll charges will vary based on the average speed of traffic.

43Report: Automakers struggle to find balance between CA policymakers and state's buyers

It's a classic dichotomy – automakers need to build both the kinds of cars consumer want to buy and also the kinds of cars the policymakers tell them they have to build. And oftentimes, these two segments don't exactly meet in the middle. Such is seemingly the case in California, where the Global Warming Solutions Act will soon force automakers that wish to remain in business in the state to drastically lower carbon emissions while also producing significant numbers of zero emissions vehic

AddChelsea Sexton: SB 535, HOV access for plug-in and the unintended consequences of easy political wins

One of the persistent challenges of deploying plug-in vehicles has always been metrics: how to evaluate, regulate, incentivize and talk about them to the general public. It's complicated enough transitioning consumers from thinking about miles per gallon to miles per kilowatt hour, particularly for vehicles that refuel via both plug and pump. And within this new language, regulating automakers requires a different dialect than marketing or consumer education, to say nothing of different agency p

9Chevrolet Volt will not be eligible for HOV-lane access until mid-2012

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 hybrid and battery elec

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

AddCalifornia extends unrestricted use of carpool lanes by EVs until 2015, removes hybrids

California has nearly 1,300 miles of carpool lanes that are typically reserved for drivers willing to tote a bunch of friends along for the ride. Recently, the state opened carpool lanes to drivers of super-ultra-low-emissions vehicles (SULEV), ultra-low-emissions vehicles (ULEV) and inherently low-emissions vehicles (such as EVs). The access to carpool lanes for these "clean" vehicles was set to expire in 2011, but with a swipe of his hand, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed off o

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.

AddDebate rages over whether to extend HOV-lane exemptions for hybrids in CA

Besides the potential feeling of environmental superiority, one of the great benefits to having a hybrid in California has been the availability of a magic little sticker set for a vehicle's rear bumper and fender. The "Access OK" tags have allowed its possessors to cruise in the carpool lanes even while driving solo. The special lanes – alternatively known as HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle) or diamond lanes – have proven to be a great time saver on California's clogged freeway sy

40Debate rages over whether to extend HOV-lane exemptions for hybrids in CA

Besides the potential feeling of environmental superiority, one of the great benefits to having a hybrid in California has been the availability of a magic little sticker set for a vehicle's rear bumper and fender. The "Access OK" tags have allowed its possessors to cruise in the carpool lanes even while driving solo. The special lanes – alternatively known as HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle) or diamond lanes – have proven to be a great time saver on California's clogged freeway sy

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?

AddCalifornia lawmakers want to impose shame on HOV lane violators; sounds like field day for pranksters

So you see someone driving solo in the carpool lane who's not allowed (certain hybrids with stickers and low-emission vehicles like the Honda Civic GX are okay). Not only is the offending driver cheating, but the jerk is probably disrupting traffic in multiple lanes and causing panic among other motorists. If pending legislation in California passes, you can do more than simply curse at the sleazebag within the confines of your vehicle. The bill would create a hotline for motorists to report sol

AddLibrary of Congress historical "Ride Swap" poster

This image, created sometime between 1940 and 1946 according to the Library of Congress, shows the one-time wartime public mindset of the American government. Look at how happy those two men are, how happy they are to be swapping a ride to work. "Good day, Mac, swap a ride with you this a.m.?" "Sure thing fella, hop on in."

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