If you live in California and have been toying with the idea going electric, some new perks just might convince you to hit the ignition button. The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board has given 2012 Ford Focus Electric drivers the right to drive in carpool lanes even when they’re driving alone. And state and federal incentives totaling as much as $10,000 are available to EV drivers.
Drivers will soon be able to buy the gas-free Ford Focus Electric, which recently claimed the title of America’s most fuel-efficient five-seater. Ford is ramping up production right now for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey “in the first half” of this year. By the end of the year, the Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S., Ford said.
California Focus Electric customers also are eligible to apply for a $2,500 tax rebate when the Focus Electric is purchased or leased for 36 months or longer. In addition to the state rebate, Focus Electric qualifies for the existing $7,500 federal tax credit.
If the rebates aren’t enough to convince you, the right to drive in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, otherwise known as the carpool lane, just might be enough in traffic-clogged California.
Ford pointed out that the Texas Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report said Los Angeles and the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area rank Nos. 3 and 7, respectively, for the worst congestion in the United States. In Los Angeles alone, this congestion contributed to a total of 38 million gallons of wasted fuel over the course of a year. The congestion was estimated to cost the average Los Angeles commuter an additional $1,464 a year.
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