The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles has been approved By Clean Pass for use in the entire 40-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway carpool lane.
To qualify, vehicles must be classified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) and also be certified by the U.S. EPA to offer fuel economy of at least 45 mpg on the highway.
According to Ford, the C-MAX Energi not only meets the CARB standard but also offers EPA-estimated 100 MPGe combined – 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway – along with a total range of up to 620 miles and an electric-only range of up to 21 miles.
“C-MAX Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid and offers a top electric-only speed of up to 85 mph,” said C.J. O’Donnell, group marketing manager for electrification. “Others clearly appreciate the environmental benefit, too, which is why we are seeing programs like Clean Pass embrace Ford’s electrified lineup.”
Clean Pass is a multi-agency pilot program partnering three New York state agencies – the State Department of Transportation, the State Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Programs such as Clean Pass are growing in number to encourage the use of vehicles that produce fewer emissions and use less fuel. They range from the $3,750 federal tax credit owners may receive; to a program in Ferndale, Mich., where drivers of hybrids that get 30 mpg or better in city driving are allowed to park for free at city parking meters.
Other states offering lane driving privileges for hybrid vehicle owners include Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Ford says access to HOV lanes is more important than ever as commuters spend more time on the roads. A recent study from New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management shows today’s commuters are on the road longer than ever before, and the number of people who commute more than 90 miles to work has doubled over the past 10 years.
“More and more organizations seem to be recognizing the potential positive impact of having electrified vehicles account for as much of that drive time as possible,” said Curt Skaluba, general manager of Ford’s east market area, parts, service and sales operation.