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USA: Senate committee votes to ban solo driver hybrids from HOV lanes

Are hybrids officially swimming in the US mainstream? A recent federal government amendment appears to imply as much, since it says that hybrid drivers won’t be able to count on getting solo access to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. And the Prius Nation sighs.

A recently approved six-year highway-spending bill includes an amendment sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) that would forbid states from creating new HOV-access programs for solo drivers in hybrids. States with existing programs, like Virginia, would be allowed to continue them. Plug-in hybrids, extended-range plug-in vehicles and battery-electric vehicles are safe, The Detroit News says. Heck, even compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be able to continue to join the lonley party. For now.
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