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Success of the plug-in depends on access to carpool lane

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by evnow, Aug 10, 2011.

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  1. evnow

    evnow Active Member

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    This is from an interview with Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager-Toyota Div.

    Toyota Planning More EVs; Expecting Regional Demand for Prius Plug-In



    Ofcourse, the other big news from that interview is that Rav4 EV will be initially sold only in CA. I've always said the EVs from Toyota & Honda are just for CARB.
  2. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    evnow, many other states have also adopted the California emissions laws, mine (MA) being one of them, thats one of the reasons Ford was targetting those initial 15 states with the Ford Focus EV... The reason for CA is also a very limited quantity being produced, and they are probably only going to train and equip very few Toyota dealers to service the RAV4, they also probably want to keep it "close to the EV converter" (which is really Tesla, they are just a gigantic conversion shop until the Model S is released), to gauge how it does and in case there are any "surprises" or recalls until the bugs are worked out.
  3. Troyroy

    Troyroy Member

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    Forgive my ignorance on the car pool lane stuff. But while traveling around the country I have seen and been in such lanes, once in these lanes the speed limit is more like driving in the Indy 500.
    If I read the previous post and link correctly they are saying that someone would be more likely to buy a plug-in if they could drive it in the HOV lane, if they were alone.
    This sounds awful foolish to me.......it's more important to drive alone in the HOV lane, then it is to save fuel and energy.

    ?????????????:confused:
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The next paragraph suggests otherwise:


    If 13 of the 15 states where the PHEV is going initially don't grant this access, I don't think Toyota is counting that much on it for success. At least outside CA.

    The rapid proliferation of Leafs here strongly suggests that the Prius PHEV should be very successful in WA without HOV access.
  5. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    In NY, cordless Prius still qualifies in the HOV lane. They have not added Prius PHV to the list yet and I don't see why not. I would think the other CARB states are the same as NY.
  6. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    I don't think as many Priis would have been sold in the US if not for HOV access.
    So yes, I think the success of PHEV's and highway capable EV's is dependant on such draconian actions like HOV lanes.

    London's congestion tax hardly did anything; the rich simply paid it and continued to use their SUVs.

    Personal time saved > money spent on a car

    I remember reading about a professional getting the Prius as an additional car just for HOV to same time on the highway back & forth to his job.

    The new California law for HOV will push the rich to buy Volts, Leafs, PHEV's. That's a good thing, the rich paying for the initial rollouts.
  7. evfinder

    evfinder Member

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    You can't have ever driven in LA traffic, if you had you would realize that driving in the carpool lane saves a ton of fuel and energy just because you are driving pretty steadily rather than sitting in stop go traffic. Even so, the traffic can be so bad at times that the carpool lane chokes up as well but generally it flows better than the main lanes
  8. Dozer42

    Dozer42 New Member

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    'The Rich'?!? What are you talking about? Hollywood rich?

    These cars are bought by you and me, not 'the rich'. They're in Tesla Roadsters and such.

    Don't fall for the class warfare lines the news has been feeding you, 'the rich' would include pretty much every owner on this board. :\



  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    ?????


    Well this is sort of true. Indeed the rich couldn't care two hoots about an £8 per day charge BUT many many many others have purchased hybrids to get around paying it.

    It is doubtful whether the hybrid would have been anywhere near as successful over here if it hadn't been for the congestion charge exemption. Many taxi companies (mini cabs as opposed to the iconic London cab) in the London area use the hybrid because it is exempt.

    The other negative issue with the hybrids in London is that they demand a high second hand value because of the exemption. A 2002 Prius classic costs about £3,000 -£3,500 (grey imports £2500 - £3000) whereas a VW Golf of similar age would go for about £800- £1200.
  10. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    I'm all for cleaner air. Before the stricter standards and mandatory smog checks, the air quality was horrible. We still have a lot of smog but it's not as bad anymore. The traffic is still bad as ever and contributes to bad air, but cleaner cars mean cleaner air.

    The wind is very calm here during the day and the air gets stale and the smog just lingers.

    Some people in non-CARB states make fun of it and think it's some left-leaning liberal tree hugging phenomenon, but I don't care that their motives are different if the goal is the same. If you live here then you want cleaner air. If you don't breathe the same air, don't tell us how to regulate it.
  11. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Am I correct to guess that more economical vehicles are much cleaner than a thirstier car if they comply with the same emission legislation? Are emission limits based on parts per million? So could a 5 litre SUV with PZEV (or Euro 5) compliance be dirtier than a Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus without the PZEV (or Euro 4) compliance but with double or triple the fuel economy?

    Or is that just too simplistic? (am aware the US & Euro emissions are different but the idea is the same)
  12. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    Yes I consider myself rich, and include the other owners on this board.

    If you can afford a car to go back & forth to work, instead of public transit, then yes, you are rich. There's even a humorous website called WhiteWhine.com. US/Can middle class is richer than most of the world population. Depends on perspective.

    Yes I consider people that bought a Prius in an area that HOV's don't exist, less callous than those who do. I don't kid myself into the "green" movement driving a car that uses petrol. I chose a Prius on it's merit alone, not it's green cred.

    Pushing the current Prius out of the HOV w/o any compensation versus the other car that pollute up to 20x more for the same mile, is a mistake. Having paved highways 5 lanes wide for 1M cars going in the same direction in the same time period is also a mistake. One should be dedicated for buses, like they've done here in Montreal for the busy bridges.

    Having an HOV lane, a Hybrid lane, a dedicated public transit lane, would go a long way. What's wanted, less congestion, less cars?
    Or the same amount of cars, with a single driver, that pollutes less than a Prius?

    Madness. Urban nightmare. Things have to be brought to the individual's level. Money & Time.

    75MPG HOV will prompt more "rich" people to switch cars, to go back into the luxury of time and being alone in "your" car. Will do zip for congestion though.

    If anything, the gas guzzlers should spend the least amount of time on the highway/road at all, the hybrids should have a "slow" lane so you can hypermile in w/o getting rear ended.

    No more White Whine about various degrees of Rich. Hollywood rich, that's like what, 0.0000001% of the US population? I'm sure they don't contribute to 9-5 congestion.
    The guy paying 150k$ for a Mercedes SUV is.
    Every Prius driver w/o a passenger is.
    1 person likes this.
  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    Gee I dunno....
    Why don't they just use a carpool lane for...(you gotta wait for it!)...carpooling?
    The idea of plunking down $40K for a "special" car to avoid the hassle of using one car to haul two (or more) people is kinda coloring outside the lines a little bit from where I sit. I’m all for developing cleaner cars, and encouraging folks to buy said vehicles (if they can afford them.) Having said all that I think that arranging your life around a carpool, and using one vehicle to haul multi-pax to and from work requires a level of commitment that goes well beyond buying a certain “blessed” car, and in most cases probably results in greater ecological benefit. This level of commitment should be thusly rewarded with something like…oh, I dunno….maybe a special lane of traffic! We could even call it a…..carpool lane. ;)
    However (comma!)
    I don't have a dog in this race, so I'll just sit back and:pop2:.
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  14. jbrad4

    jbrad4 Active Member

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    I'm on the list to buy a PHV and don't intend to drive much on freeways with carpool lanes. Maybe it's worth it to do that in Calif., I don't know. Seems strange to me that someone would buy one just to drive in the carpool lane by themselves. I just want a car that I can drive around town, and for the most part drive without using any gas. If I do need to drive any distance, at least I won't need to worry about range anxiety by driving a pure electric.
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I thought most CARB states were like my state -- No HOV access for single-occupant civilian cars of any flavor.

    Those lanes are to reduce congestion and improve transit scheduling. Other measures to reduce air pollution are more cost effective.


    As long as your HOV lanes are built with primarily federal money -- and note that it is from the transportation budget, not the environmental budget -- you must expect taxpayers elsewhere who paid for it to give their opinions on how it should be used, whether you like it or not.

    If you don't want such advice, then build those lanes with exclusively in-state taxes.
  16. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    Exactly. Letting the Prius into the HOV to begin with, for the sake of cleaner air, was a mistake. Like London's congestion tax. It did nothing for congestion. The rich paid for the privilege, the not-so-rich more into debt.

    All it did was create Prius hate / envy. Then many professionals, too rich to care and their time too precious, specifically got a Prius.

    All that time & effort would have been better spent on efficient public transit. The HOV for 3 passengers makes sense; two less cars on the road.

    A hybrid with 2 passengers in the HOV would be a compromise between a good decision and the stupid one allowing the Prius in the HOV to begin with.

    Some government officials don't have their priorities straight. I'm sure those 200,000 Priis in California did negligible difference in air quality - too few, too spread out.

    A dedicated bus lane other than the HOV, with "clean" tech, max 10 minute wait, would have been the way to go.

    Creating public transit with trains is too costly, land no longer available.
    Give a commuter a good, clean, efficient bus system that gets him to his job FASTER than he can drive there.
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Forget hybrids, just based on the number of Smarts and other small cars I've see in the zone the rich didn't just keep using their SUV.

    What some rich people did was register their monsters as taxis. I don't know what happened when they got caught, but I hope they lost all future exemption rights.
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Emissions are g/mi or g/km in the EU. Larger vehicle classes can be dirtier, but they're gradually moving levels closer.
  19. evfinder

    evfinder Member

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    I actually carpool in the LA area and have been watching the air quality here in the LA Basin for almost 30 years. I can remember a time when you would drive through downtown LA and be able to literally taste the air the pollution was so bad.

    My prius has the yellow stickers but I rarely drove alone in the carpool lane, only on those very rare instances when the other guys in the carpool were all out at the same time.

    Allowing single ocupancy in the carpool lane did drive sales of Prius in this area and was one of the factors that made this car a great success. While access to the carpool lane wasn't a consideration for me when I bought the car I do know people (not hollywood rich BTW) where the solo use of the carpool lane was a primary driver in the decision to buy.

    Moving these cars into the carpool lane also helped improve utilization and reduce congestion in the regular lanes. There are rules that pull funding for carpool lanes if the lanes become too congested so the impact was carefully monitored.

    Noel
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