Ford’s Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid has now been approved for use in California’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
As a reminder, to earn access to these faster moving carpool lanes, vehicles must qualify for tax rebates through California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which is overseen by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). A vehicle that qualifies earns a special sticker that identifies it as having HOV privileges.
Ford Fusion Energi buyers are eligible to receive a $1,500 tax rebate – in addition to a $3,750 federal tax credit.
The Energi version of the Fusion is the third Ford vehicle to qualify for California’s special financial and driving incentives. The Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are the two other Ford vehicles to qualify.
The tax rebate and carpool lane access program are designed to promote reduced greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of less gas.
“That Ford has the most 2013 vehicles eligible for HOV lane access in the largest electrified vehicle market in the U.S. underscores our success in truly offering power of choice, especially when it comes to electric and hybrid powertrains,” said C.J. O’Donnell, group marketing manager for Ford Electrification.
To qualify for the programs, a vehicle must be classified by CARB as a super ultra-low emission vehicle and be certified by the U.S. EPA to offer fuel economy of at least 45 mpg on the highway.
Ford said that the Fusion Energi not only meets CARB standards but also has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe combined– 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway – along with a total range of up to 620 miles on one tank of gas and one full charge; the Fusion Energi has an electric-only range of up to 21 miles.
In California, the Fusion Energi is the ninth Ford vehicle to qualify for carpool lane access through CARB since 1993.
“Fusion Energi is Ford’s most fuel-efficient sedan and offers a top electric-only speed of up to 85 mph,” said O’Donnell. “Californians clearly appreciate the environmental benefit, too, which is why we are seeing the state’s programs embrace Ford’s electrified lineup.”
Programs like California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project are growing in number to encourage the use of vehicles that produce fewer emissions and use less gas. They range from the $3,750 federal tax credit owners may receive for buying Fusion Energi to a program in Ferndale, Mich., where drivers of hybrids that get 30 mpg or better in the city 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, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.