Hybrids in the HOV Lane

july 8, 2007

OK, all you hybrid drivers with HOV lane stickers, don't hate me. But, I think all those hybrids in the HOV lanes really defeat the purpose of the HOV lane and the hybrid car.  Humor me here:

  1. HOV Lane.  HOV = High Occupancy Vehicle.  That means more than one person in a vehicle.  The Hybrid car stickers let people in hybrids enter the HOV lane with only one person.  Bad.
  2. Hybrids are cars with a gas and electric engine.
  3. Hybrid electric engines runs at lower speeds (below 42mph, as seen with the Prius).
  4. Hybrid gas engines run at any speed above that -- at which point, a hybrid is no better than any other car on the freeway.
Given those facts, having a hybrid in the HOV lane, doing 60mph with the actual HOV traffic is not the best way of utilizing both a hybrid and the HOV lane.  The hybrids get the best gas mileage in stop-and-go traffic -- since the batteries are recharged during braking and that type of traffic is usually slower than the top speed of the electric engine. I for one think that hybrid drivers should be shoved back into the normal lanes and not given the right to drive in the HOV lane -- unless, of course, if they have more than one person in the car.  Otherwise, you single-rider hybrid drivers in the HOV lanes aren't doing much to save the environment, you're only pretending to -- and shame on you.