Carpool Lanes Open to California Hybrids

December 17, 2004

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed House Bill 2628 on September 23 to allow hybrid electric vehicles access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on the highway during rush hours. Read the bill.

Previously, only electric and natural gas vehicles that are classified as ultra-low emissions (ULEV) or lower could drive in HOV lanes in California. The new requirement adds hybrid electric vehicles that meet the California ULEV standards and that get more than 45 mpg as certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most hybrid electric vehicles on the market today have ULEV ratings. However, the EPA rates many of the larger hybrids at lower than 45 mpg. For more information on HOV eligibility, see Drive Clean.Ca.gov.

Source: October 2004 edition of the Alliance to Save Energy's "State Energy Efficiency Policy Bulletin."