Colorado Looks for Hybrid Cars in the HOV Lanes ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Colorado Looks for Hybrid Cars in the HOV Lanes

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Colorado Looks for Hybrid Cars in the HOV Lanes

CDOTThe Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is considering allowing hybrid cars into the HOV lanes as solo drivers. Back in 2003, Colorado wrote up a law allowing hybrid cars in, but it was never implemented. CDOT asked the EPA to write up some conditions on allowances for hybrid cars, but the EPA never did it.

"The law currently states that a hybrid is fuel-efficient if it gets 50 percent more miles to the gallon than its counterpart," said Stacey Stegman, the Colorado Department of Transportation's director of public information. "You could have a Hummer that gets 10 miles to the gallon, and then they come out with a hybrid model that gets 15. But still there's the normal Honda Civic that gets 30 mpg. It just doesn't make sense to exclude the Civic over the Hummer."

But now CDOT is looking to set up a real world experiment on what kind of effect having hybrid cars in the HOV lanes would have. They want to set up a lottery so that 2,000 lucky winners can have access.

If implemented, the drivers would have access to CDOT HOT lanes and HOV lanes; lanes on Highway 82 between Glenwood Springs and Aspen, Santa Fe Drive south of downtown, U.S. 36 and Interstate 25 north of downtown. But that doesn't include E-470 and the Northwest Parkway, which are owned by private companies.

Hybrid car owners interested in the pass can email to get on a list for notification when they can sign up for the stickers that would allow hybrids to freely drive the HOT and HOV lanes.

There is one reservation, however. If clogging does occur, CDOT reserves the right to charge hybrid car owners a toll for the lanes.

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Karkus said...

Finally somthing is happening here, but I'm afrad it's Too Little, Too Late, for Colorado.

These kinds of programs were adopted by some states years ago to encourge hybrid purchases when the technology was still new. Colorado dragged their feet since 2003, waiting on official federal approval.
Now plenty of people have hybrids already, so they have to limit participation, and the program runs out in 2009 anyway. Hardly seems worth it anymore (although I suppose I might as well try to get in on it).

On the other hand Colorado has some very nice tax credits for buying hybrids (~$3-4K for many of them)

Mike said...

I wouldn't give up hope based on the end date. Virginia has a program that was supposed to end a few years ago, but has been extended again and again.

The tax credits make things a lot easier for those willing to take a chance. And although I believe we are past the 'first' stage, some car makers are still trying to develop hybrid cars and so the tax credits and other incentives are still needed to encourage them.

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