OK — The new highway bill proposes that we allow hybrid vehicles into carpool lanes. Let’s see — the purpose of the carpool lanes was to reduce the number of cars by enticing people to carpool. Reducing the number of cars greatly reduces emissions. In fact, it reduces emissions 100% for the vehicle not used. It also, by reducing cars, you reduce traffic, traffic jams, etc etc etc.
Under the new plan, you don’t reduce a car, you simply take a car that was getting 25 miles per gallon and replace it with a car that gets what 35 MPG (that’s what the hybrid suv’s get.) No traffic savings, no vehicle reduction. and only a 10 MPG savings — OK so you drive a Prius and you get 60 MPG. So you get a 35 MPG savings. We would still be a lot better off if you didn’t drive at all and carpooled with a gas guzzler that was going you way anyway.
As for free parking for Hybrids (some cities now offer on and off street free parking for these cars.) Bull hockey. I can see giving a reduction in parking fee for a smaller car (it takes less space) and charging more for a Navigator (it really takes 1.5 spaces), but free. Nope. Doesn’t do it for me. Its essentially the same issue — you are still taking up a space. That space cost someone big bucks. You should pay for it. If you charge a different amount based on size, it makes sense. If you let someone in for free, it makes no sense.
The auto companies will sell a lot of hybrids, probably more than they can make, because people want to save some money on gas. Trust me, that motivator works just fine. I think tax breaks (the first 60,000 produced by each company gets the buyer a tax break) aren’t the way. A quality hybrid, that gets good gas mileage and can at least keep up with the other cars in the race, will sell just fine.
Just my opinion.