Tough HOV Vehicle Criteria Proposed by EPA

EPA yesterday proposing criteria for certifying vehicles as clean and energy efficient, saying this will help states that allow such vehicles on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. The proposal was required by the current federal highway funding law, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (also known as SAFETEA-LU).

The proposal applies to cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks below 8,500 pounds.To be eligible for the HOV exemption, these vehicles have to meet specifications for low emissions and energy efficiency. To be considered low emission, EPA proposes that a vehicle would have to be certified to the federal Tier 2 bin 5 standard or cleaner, or the California LEV II standards. To be considered energy efficient, EPA proposes that a vehicle would have to be a dedicate alternative fuel vehicle or a hybrid achieving 50 percent of better in-city fuel economy or 25 percent of better in combined city/highway fuel economy, compared to a similar, gasoline-fueled vehicle.

For more information about EPA's proposal, visit epa.gov/otag/ld-hwy.htm.

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