Nudging New Yorkers in the Direction of Plug-InsGiving access to lanes reserved for 'high occupancy vehicles' (HOV) is a tried-and-true way to provide an incentive for people to buy greener vehicles. It's been done since the early days of hybrids, and now it is being done with plug-ins such as the Ford C-MAX Energi (a plug-in hybrid that works on the same principle as the Chevrolet Volt -- it runs in electric mode until the battery is depleted, and then switches to gasoline power).
Indeed, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the all-new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid for its Clean Pass vehicle carpool lane access program, a serious perk.
Clean Pass, a New York state-run program promoting reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption, recently ruled C-MAX Energi owners could drive the entire 40-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway in the carpool lane.
The move is especially important as studies show New Yorkers spend more time driving to and from work than commuters anywhere else in the country.
Of course, you'll spend even less time driving if you take public transit, but if you're going to be driving, a plug-in vehicle is your best option.
To qualify, vehicles must be classified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) and also be certified by the U.S. EPA to offer fuel economy of at least 45 mpg on the highway.
C-MAX Energi not only meets the CARB standard but also offers EPA-estimated 100 MPGe combined – 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway – along with a total range of up to 620 miles and an electric-only range of up to 21 miles. (source)