Bloomberg. Ford and GM want the federal government to force New York and California to let solo drivers of their hybrid vehicles join those of Honda and Toyota cars in highway High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes.
Ford and GM said they want two US agencies to enforce a law enacted last August that opens High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in the two states to their sport utility vehicles that run on gasoline and electricity. New York and California open lanes only to solo drivers hybrids that get at least 45 miles per gallon in gas mileage. By definition, that means only certain hybrids currently available only from Toyota and Honda.
“We believe we’re being unfairly treated,” said Jerry Roussel, manager of energy, environment and safety in Ford’s Washington office. “It’s discriminating, we think, against a US manufacturer like Ford, which we believe has implemented state-of-the-art technology.”
The August law, included in a $286.5 billion highway-spending legislation, would open state HOV-hybrid programs to vehicles that get 50% better highway mileage, or 25% better city-highway mileage combined, than identical gasoline-powered models. Ford and GM’s vehicles would meet the federal standard.