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 purchase. Remember, the tax break is in addition to the Fed's existing $7,500 credit, so the cash is piling up for interested parties.

What remains unclear at this time is which vehicles will actually qualify for these new incentive programs. Presumably, all battery electric vehicles like the Tesla Roadster, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and ER-EVs like the Chevrolet Volt qualify. It isn't yet known if plug-in hybrids will qualify for these benefits, however.

[Source: | Image: Gail Burton/AP/Getty]

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