Hybrids in HOV

.: News1130 : ALL NEWS RADIO :. – Hybrid vehicles in HOV lanes?

I’ve seen some lashback about this happening in California, where they’re currently testing the idea of letting Hybrid Vehicles in HOV lanes. According to some, the hybrid drivers generally keep to the speed limit, where they apparently have the highest fuel efficiency. This, naturally, really annoys the people in the HOV lane who prefer to go faster. It breaks the ‘slower vehicles keep right’ etiquette, and may well add to an already serious road rage problem.

Would this happen in Vancouver? This is the only city I’ve lived in where angry drivers show their rage by swerving into the drivers who have pissed them off – not once, but on three separate occasions I have witnessed this. There is no shortage of road rage in Vancouver.

Not that I don’t think going hybrid is a fantastic idea – if I were buying a new car, I would be looking in to it for sure. And incentives are a great way to convert people – no one will bother with switching to Hybrid just for that disconnected ‘save the environment’ concept (forgetting the fact that we’re as much part of this environment as the trees, the birds, the oceans, and so on,) without other incentives – be it tax breaks or cheap gas expenditures.

I’ll just continue my bike commuting for now.

4 Comments so far

  1. cybele (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    “no one will bother with switching to Hybrid just for that disconnected ‘save the environment’ concept”

    … actually, I did buy my Prius pretty much for that reason. At the time of my purchase the gas savings in no way made financial sense considering the purchase price of the car and the amount of miles I drove. I bought it because fuel efficiency and reduced emissions were the most responsible choice and because I could afford the car.

  2. Jenny Lee (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    Heh… yeah, I was being over general. I should say what I mean really: by No One I mean the overall car-buying market.

    I can’t even afford the fuel-efficient car that I currently have. I would love a hybrid, though. My next car will probably be one.

  3. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 6:51 am

    The (booming) hybrid market is almost nothing but people switching for feel-good reasons.

    Even at today’s gas prices, you have to drive a lot to pay back the price difference between a Prius and a plain old Toyota Corolla. If you actually wanted to save money instead of the environment, you’d just buy a cheaper car. In the long run, I suspect high resale value will also be an advantage for the Prius, unless the battery packs cost too much to replace…

    Taxi drivers are a rare exception to this rule, since they drive a lot, and they drive their cars to death, and they drive in Prius-perfect conditions: the city’s stop-and-go traffic.

    On marginal value for environmental benefit, you’re already there with a bicycle and a bus pass, and if you need a car beyond that, just get a cheap one and don’t drive it much.

  4. cybele (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

    Ryan, part of the reason a lot of people bought the Prius (early adopters) was that we believed that the technology would benefit the community and by buying them it was sending a message to the carmakers that there were folks who would choose substance over style (though I think the Prius provides both).

    Is it the most cost effective? No, but for people who can afford it, it gives the automakers the incentive to develop the technologies further in both efficiency and conservation.

    One thing though, it’s not just about the fuel economy for many of us, it’s also about emissions. Check out: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/TailpipeTally/

    You can run just about any car and see what the emissions levels are on a variety of specs.

    But yes, ride a bike or take public transpo. (I carpool and sometimes walk.)

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