Ford and GM want access to HOV lanes for their hybrids, no matter what their actual fuel efficiency is. As it stands right now, New York and California opened their HOV lanes to hybrids who also meet a standard of 45 mpg (EPA rating) highway. Only three cars meet California's standard, which was applied to New York, the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight.
Ford and GM are charging that the federal law allows any hybrids that get 50% better highway mileage or 25% better city-highway mileage combined than identical gasoline powered models. Ford and GM's hybrids would meet those standards.
While I can understand why Ford and GM want access for their vehicles to the HOV lane, I would have to say that California's rules are more sensible. It really doesn't make any sense to claim they are being discriminated against, not when Toyota and Honda have hybrids that don't qualify. Also, it makes sense to allow this perk for those hybrids that truly make a difference in combatting oil dependence, not just because they are hybrids.
Also, some drivers in the HOV lane are getting upset at the special priviliges hybrid drivers are receiving. Calling it Prius backlash, people are upset at what they perceive as overcrowding in the HOV lane. If the HOV lane fills up due to hybrid use, drivers who currently carpool will give up and go back to driving themselves to work.
It makes sense to offer the special privilige to hybrid owners who have bought the most fuel efficient vehicles. These hybrids are still comparable to other cars in the HOV lane with 3 or more passengers. Ford and GM's hybrids just aren't.
JS Online:Ford, GM want their hybrids let in carpool lanes
Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., seeking to boost sales, want the federal government to force New York and California to let solo drivers of their hybrid vehicles join those of Honda and Toyota cars in highway carpool lanes.