As I am sure you are aware of by now, a lot of states allow owners of hybrids to drive solo in the carpool lane while everyone else sits still in traffic. Well, at least thats the way it is here in Los Angeles. But the EPA has started discussing new rules for which cars are allowed in the HOV lane, and it might disqualify cars that are allowed as of today. See, the new rules will require those cars allowed to be 25% more fuel efficient than their regular equivalent…which means that as of now, only Toyota, Honda, Ford and Mazda meet the new standards. These cars would be allowed under the new rules:
2004-07 Toyota Prius, 2006-07 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, 2006-07 Lexus RX400h, 2006 Mazda Tribute Hybrid, 2005-07 Ford Escape Hybrid, 2006-07 Mercury Mariner Hybrid, 2003-07 Honda Civic Hybrid, 2003-06 Honda Insight and 2005 and 2007 models of the Honda Accord Hybrid.
These cars would not:
Lexus GS450h Hybrid, Dodge Ram Hybrid and the Saturn Vue Greenline Hybrid.
So if you are an owner of one of these cars that is not 25% more fuel efficient than its closest cousin, you are going to be out of luck sometime soon if these new rules pass. Of course, in California you already have to be getting 45 MPG to use the HOV lanes, which just about rules out any car other than the Prius and the Civic Hybrid.
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