California HOV lanes allow Ford C-Max; nearly 5,600 plug-in hybrids added
The C-Max Energi scores the coveted single-occupant car-pool-lane bumper sticker, joining five other 2013 plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
How tough? When the Chevrolet Volt debuted for 2011, CARB barred the plug-in hybrid from its HOV list, forcing General Motors to modify its gasoline engine enough to pass for the 2012 model year.
So far, nearly 5,600 of the new stickers have been issued. Up to 40,000 plug-in hybrids will be offered a green HOV sticker, including the Prius Plug-In, Ford Focus Electric and Fusion Energi, Honda Fit EV and the Volt. An uncapped number of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be awarded white HOV stickers, in addition to some earlier-model electric, natural-gas and hydrogen fuel-cell cars. Both stickers are set to expire in 2015. (A full list of eligible vehicles is here.)
While plug-in hybrids and EVs retail for roughly double the cost of comparable gasoline-only cars, California offers a $1,500 rebate to soften the blow. And since the HOV stickers must stay affixed to the car, they have historically bumped up resale values by up to an additional $1,500.
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