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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.

As we mentioned yesterday, the EPA's list of HOV-lane-friendly hybrids has seen the light of day. The official draft list is now out, and it's pretty much as expected (you can download the PDF here). There's no blanket exemption for hybrids in the HOV lanes, as vehicles like the Lexus GS450h, Dodge Ram Hybrid and Saturn Vue Greenline still get to sit in traffic. CNN has the list of acceptable vehicles: