Get your HOV sticker while you canI recently wrote about Bill AB266, which could extend HOV lane access for green cars by 10 years in California. Well, Californians interested in the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid now have a good reason to hope that the bill becomes law, because the Fusion Energi has just been added to the state's list of HOV-approved vehicles, along with a $1,500 state tax rebate which comes in addition to $3,750 in federal tax credit.
To qualify for the California incentive program, a vehicle must be classified by CARB as a super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) and be certified by the U.S. EPA to offer fuel economy of at least 45 MPG on the highway.
The 2013 Fusion Energi PHEV not only meets the CARB requirement, but also has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe combined (108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway). These may be the dreaded MPG-equivalents that mean less about real-world performance than regular MPG numbers because it depends a lot on how much driving is done in electric mode (the Fusion Energi has an electric range of 21 miles), but it's still very good compared to most vehicles on the road now.
So as I always say, it's green to walk, bike, or take transit. But if you need a vehicle, get the most fuel-efficient model that fits your needs and budget.