By on January 21, 2010

Enjoy it while you can... (courtesy:pbs.org)


In 2005, California opened its High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes to hybrid drivers, as an incentive for Californians to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles. Without a stickered hybrid, HOV lanes are only allowed to be used by vehicles with two or more occupants. But this hybrid perk expires at the end of this year, meaning California’s hybrid owners will no longer be able to drive in the HOV lane as a single-occupancy vehicle. In their anger, a few of the estimated 85k HOV pass holders are letting their ugly hybrid superiority complexes hang out for all to see in the San Jose Mercury News’s Roadshow column. One hybrid owner writes:

Some critics had a choice in buying their vehicle. Did you choose to buy a gas hog-pig SUV or truck, BMW 300 series [sic], a Mercedes-Benz E-class or a safety-first Volvo? You knew these cars didn’t qualify for the carpool lane because they are environmentally unfriendly. You made a conscious choice to be self-centered and materialistic and now you all are projecting your selfishness upon hybrid owners

I love the smell of entitlement in the morning…

But it’s not just that hybrid drivers are saving the planet… the law’s expiration is just jealousy on the part of the selfish and environmentally unfriendly who hate hybrids because they get totheir destinations faster.

All of you with contempt for hybrid car owners having access to the carpool lane need to take a long look in the mirror. Why should any of us that purchased the qualifying cars and appropriate stickers be booted from the carpool lanes?… Each qualifying car is one fewer in other lanes among the nightmarish morning and evening commutes. Do you mean to tell me that we should be punished for having the financial foresight and environmental compassion for purchasing these luxuries? Why, because we cruise past you as you sit in 35 mph-or-less traffic on the freeways?

Sigh. Here’s the thing: if buying a hybrid is the right thing to do based on your value system, why do you need the bonus perk of a free pass to occupy the HOV lane even though you’re the only one in your Prius? After all, isn’t the HOV hybrid exception really an incentive against carpooling, and therefore, environmental responsibility? [via GreenCarReports.com]

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94 Comments on “California HOV Hybrid Owners Get Nasty...”


  • avatar
    Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

    As an avid environmentalist and environmental scientist I can say with authority that these people have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Hybrid’s environmental benefits are minimal when considering the entire environmental toll of developing, building, maintaining, and ultimately scrapping these cars. They get better gas mileage in the city than conventional ICE-only cars. That’s it. Their efficiency wheelhouse isn’t even in highway conditions, so if any car should spend time in stop and go traffic, it’s one designed to be most efficient in that situation. These people are morons and give people who use their brain and reason to stand up for the environment a bad name.

    Also, if you really care about the environment that much, live closer to work, ride a bike, take public transit or walk. What absolute tools.

    • 0 avatar
      M1EK

      As an avid refuter of FUD, I can say with authority that Dr. Nguyen Van Falk has no idea what he’s talking about.

      The car with the highest highway mileage sold in the USA is the Prius.

      The rest of your arguments are even less valid than that one.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      As stated below, even something as offensively inefficient as an H2 with multiple people exceeds the mpg per person than a prius with a single passenger. This is why HOV’s are a great idea, they promote efficiency with existing automobiles.

      The Prius’ highway mpg is high, but not so high that it eclipses most cars when full of people.

      These prius owners are stupid. Also the prius is the most efficient hybrid. Camry hyrbid, civic hybrid, altima hybrid etc. owners certainly don’t beat out a new Golf TDI’s highway mileage, and when you put a couple people in the TDI’s seats, it smokes the hybrid’s smug propaganda like dry tobacco. Don’t believe the hype, if you really cared and want to make a difference, don’t drive as much.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      And as stated below, HOV lanes are to promote efficiency as well as reducing traffic volumes and congestion. How does allowing single passenger vehicles into HOV lanes reduce congestion? The reduction in congestion benefits every cars efficiency EXCEPT hybrids, so why would putting them in an HOV lane at the detriment to every car caught in the congestion while failing to maximize the hybrid’s strength help anything?

      This rule is stupid and should go away just like these morons who think buying a 1.5 ton chunk of CO2 and CO breathing steel, plastic, glass,lubricant, and batteries is somehow a good thing for nature.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I would agree with the Doctor about the HOV lane exemption. This was one of the things I disliked most about California’s idea. It makes no sense for the vehicle most able to deal with congested traffic to put it into an environment where it will be less than effective.

      If you want to add incentives to hybrid ownership, give them a tax break or a great big gold star they can stick on the back of the car, if that’s what they need to do to feel good about purchasing a hybrid. I would think the reduced costs of driving and pollutants emitted would be enough, but maybe that’s me.

    • 0 avatar
      mrog71

      +1 on the Dr.’s comments.

    • 0 avatar
      M1EK

      So you guys have no issue with the Dr. lying on the substance, as long as he does it to support an opinion you like?

      He claimed, and I quote:

      “They get better gas mileage in the city than conventional ICE-only cars. That’s it. Their efficiency wheelhouse isn’t even in highway conditions,”

      He, of course, started his know-nothing screed by paraphrasing the thoroughly discredited Hummer vs. Prius study. And then finished with a “if you’re not perfect, you aren’t any better than those who do absolutely nothing” argument to close.

      Good show, FUDders, good show. GM is proud.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      I never said it didn’t have the highest highway mpg rating of cars sold in the US. It does hold that title, or at least i believe you when you say that. However, the efficiency wheelhouse I was referring to is the markedly higher city mpg it gets over it’s ICE-only competition. It does not have the marked efficiency over something like a Cobalt XFE. One the highway, they’re just another car with a lot of extra weight. A prius without the batteries and synergy drive would probably get better gas mileage on the highway due to the decreased weight. It’s all ICE action on the highway whether you’re in a hybrid, hummer, or harley.

      In the highway situation of an HOV lane, it doesn’t outperform other frugal compacts to such a degree to warrant its inclusion in a lane built only for high occupancy vehicles. I was not lying. Buying a Prius on the basis of helping the environment is completely misguided, misinformed, and stupid.

      If you do have a Hummer and are getting 10 mpg on the highway with 5 people in the car, versus a Prius with one person getting 50 mpg, who is getting better mpg per person? It’s irrefutable that in a comparison like that they are the same per person. On top of the that the hummer only requires one (oversized) parking space. I used the hummer and an extreme example and am in no way endorsing a hummer as a green car in any situation ever. It’s a valid comparison if you think of it like this: a hummer is for someone who wants to look like they offroad but will never offroad and probably don’t even know how, while a prius is for someone who wants to look like they want to save the planet but buying a prius will never save the planet and they probably don’t know the first thing about environmentalism.

      A prius only belongs in a HOV lane if it is functioning as a HOV. Just like a Tahoe Hybrid only belongs if it has multiple passengers. The lanes are to decrease congestion delay times for those who decrease the traffic, parking, and vehicular pollution loads overall, which benefit everyone. The hybrid-in-an-HOV set want it for themselves and their own misguided smug satisfaction that benefits no one but themselves and doesn’t even help their fuel costs if they drive a prius because it gets better mileage in city traffic. It’s antithetical to the spirit of HOV lanes and their function and should be taken back.

      Buy a hybrid if you want to save gas in city driving. That’s where they flex their muscle.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      But he’s not “lying on the substance.” The Prius does not get great steady state highway mileage due to the hybrid power train. At a steady 70 that contributes pretty close to nothing. Aerodynamics, low resistance tires, electric accessory function, the Atkinson cycle engine (in the new one) etc. is doing the rest. Along with the car’s marketers picking drivers from a pool more concerned about mileage than the average population, and adjusting their driving accordingly. Look at the LS, in hybrid and standard trim, for a more realistic comparison of highway mileage differences between similar Toyotas with and without the hybrid powertrain.

      If HOV lanes exist solely to minimize CO2 per person, hand out stickers based on that. Say 45mpg / person. So a Prius owner could still drive solo, most cars would need 2 people, large SUVs 3, H1s and Murcielagos 4 or 5 (kind of tough in the Lambo, i know…) and big buses 10 or more. Perhaps let ambulances on the way to pick up someone off the hook. And out of sympathy for the poor saps who would otherwise be arrested and assigned to backseat duty, simply to boost passenger count, police cruisers as well, although personally I prefer the latter securely locked up in traffic with the people they’re supposed to “serve.”

    • 0 avatar
      M1EK

      Stuki, you’re wrong on the substance, too:

      “But he’s not “lying on the substance.” The Prius does not get great steady state highway mileage due to the hybrid power train. At a steady 70 that contributes pretty close to nothing. Aerodynamics, low resistance tires, electric accessory function, the Atkinson cycle engine (in the new one) etc. is doing the rest.”

      The Prius wouldn’t be able to be remotely feasible with the Atkinson cycle if it weren’t for that hybrid power train.

    • 0 avatar
      NDeezy415

      I would like to comment on the regressive nature of such a benefit. It seems unfair to reward those who can afford the cost of purchasing a new hybrid vehicle, particularly when many lower income individuals drive older vehicles with comparable mpg ratings (ie, old corollas, rabbits, etc).
      Government incentives that only reward the [relatively] wealthy are wrong. I suspect this is why the 2011 expiration date was set in place.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The Prius gas engine has 98Hp @5200 and 105 ft-lb @ 4000. One could drive that without assist. In some, less spoiled parts of the world, those numbers could even look quite generous, though how that power curve looks below 4000 is a bit of a question.

      And, since we are talking specifically about “single occupancy”, as long as that Cobalt fits one person, the difference in size versus the Prius is pretty irrelevant, isn’t it?

      Anyway, looking at the California ARB site, at http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm, it looks like the rules aren’t as simple as I thought they were. To qualify for the sticker as a hybrid, the cars do need 45mpg overall, and in practice, no non hybrid matches that standard anyway, although I have no doubt the Prius still would if you ripped out the electric motor and let it run on the gas engine alone. Also, the 85K number mentioned, is due to that being the total number of tags issued, first come, first served. So, those waiting for the more efficient latest generation Prius before buying, get to idle with the rest of us, while the relative polluters in their older hybrids blow by them in their outdated climate destroyers. You’d think these 85,000 saints would at least be willing to make upgrading to the currently least polluting vehicle a requirement for keeping their sticker, instead of playing the original gangsta card.

      Now, the really egregious abusers are the CNG vehicles, starting with, of all things, the Escalade. But, I’m assuming these things are mainly piloted by unusually “important” people, which these days could mean anyone from those chauffeuring politicos around to unionized public sector workers. With perhaps a Wall Street or Wells Fargo welfare queen or two thrown in for good measure.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    these people deserve environmentally friendly tungsten steel bullets

    • 0 avatar
      racebeer

      Yes … the type that mushrooms upon impact to do maximum damage. But, I’m not sure if that dynamic works when empty space between the ears is involved ………

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      You know… I don’t really like guns, mostly for all the well known reasons. But sometimes I think things that I don’t say out loud about people who try shove their will down our throats. And I lean neither one way nor t’other political spectrum wise.

  • avatar
    SloStang

    I’m thinking most cars with 2 or 3 people in them get better seat-mileage than a hybrid with one person. What’s better? 6 people driving 6 Priuses in the carpool lane? Or those same 6 people in a single large SUV, or better yet, a minivan?

    What is the proper plural for Prius anyway?

  • avatar
    mikey

    I guy in a Prius or 4 guys in a Tahoe all going to the same place. I’m betting the Tahoe is more environmentally friendly.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    CUV with 3 passengers @ 23 mpg = 69 passenger miles per gallon

    CUV with 2 passengers @ 23 mpg = 46 passenger miles per gallon

    Prius with 1 passenger @ 46 mpg = 46 passenger miles per gallon

    It’s tough to argue that the Prius is more qualified for the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes with only one occupant. Equal, maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      SloStang

      I’d say not equal. Even if the mileage works out the same, fewer vehicles mean less traffic delays which means less fuel wasted in traffic. Plus fewer vehicle miles means fewer oil changes, less tire and brake wear (and less particles from them in the environment), etc.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      During rush hour, even the HOV lanes here are sometimes clogged, partly as a result of single occupancy hybrids. While the hybrids themselves are clean enough in this mode, the large “carpool vans” the lanes were designed to encourage certainly is not. Especially if they are of the Diesel Variety.

      In addition, once off the highway and into the city, driving that van around looking for parking spots taken up by those hybrid drivers encouraged by this law to drive alone instead of taking BART or carpooling, does nothing for the environment, either.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    High occupancy lane counts if your ego is large enough to count for at least 2 people. Not saying all Prius owners are this way, but enough are.

    Someone forgot to tell these types what “high occupancy vehicle” lane literally means.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    Thank you to those who already brought up the fact that larger vehicles with a load of passengers burn less fuel per passenger-mile than any hybrid with a single occupant.

    Additionally, another public policy benefit of HOV lanes is to reduce the number of vehicles in congested urban areas, reducing traffic loads, the need for additional parking structures, etc.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    The worse part is that the expiration date for the “special sticker” perk has been known for years. This isn’t a case of a bait and switch where buyers thought they had a lifetime pass for HOV because their car had a 45mpg or better rating.

    Rather, Prius buyers knew the HOV exemption was a temporary incentive by the state to increase demand of a product that the state deemed to be more environmentally friendly.

    Now that their temporal benefit is expiring, they lash out citing how they deserve to have HOV access since they are superior human beings. Of course, not all Prius drivers have this attitude, some of the letters into the papers by hybrid drivers show that many of them are reasonable folks as well.

    Unfortunately the few “bad apple” owners end up representing the whole. Sort of like issues with the UAW, the dealer network, and a host of other groups that get a large amount of negative stereotypes heaped upon them. If a significant percentage of a discrete group exhibit negative personas and behavior, then others will attach those negative ideas to the entire group.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Peter Piper picked a peck of pious Prius pricks.
    A peck of pious Prius pricks Peter Piper picked.
    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pious Prius pricks
    How many pious Prius pricks did Peter Piper pick?

  • avatar
    Ion

    Hybrids aren’t as effecient at highway speeds anyway it sort of defeats the purpose of having one

    • 0 avatar
      Ernie

      Hehe like iWoz driving 100mph in his Prius? :D

      The news wasn’t Steve Wosniak getting a ticket . . .the news was that a Prius can go 100!

    • 0 avatar
      SacredPimento

      Are we talking EPA or ‘real world’ numbers? In the real world, the TDI gives the hybrid a run for its money. I hear of the TDI people getting into the 50s and I hear of people getting into the 60s with light mods.
      My neighbor has a Prius and he say it gets high 30s/low 40s on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @ernie – Woz did that?

      I remember hearing about Al Gore’s kid doing about 100 MPH while being chased by the police, but not Woz.

    • 0 avatar
      M1EK

      SacredPimiento, at very high (illegal) speeds, the Jetta doubtlessly would beat the Prius. At 65, the maximum I can ever go in my metro area during commuting hours, I get about 50. Which is better than I do in the city, by the way; thanks to relatively short city trips.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      The Prius does get good highway milage, along with other hybrids, but mostly because the cars are setup from the factory to do so (specifically to compensate for all the extra weight). They have low resistance tires, regen braking, trick transmissions, unique injection strategies etc… and there’s a reason these elements aren’t found (all at once) in other vehicles, their customers don’t actually prioritize milage over performance feel in their shopping. Hybrid owners do, obviously, especially those that got into the breed in the early days, and I can see why the government, both parties even, finds it easy to reward the group as a whole for their preferences.

      It dosen’t really make sense for that reward to take the shape of HOV access though, as the technology is no substitute for real carpooling as far as environmental impact and congestion are concerned. Also, the fact that hybrids get better milage in heavy traffic is just an ironic sidepoint, and not really relevant to the issue at hand, which is how best to structure efficient car incentives and increase highway efficiency without ass-ishly putting the two goals at odds with each other.

    • 0 avatar

      58.9 MPG was my best this year in a TDI. The best I’ve ever done was 69.7 MPG back in 2006.

      My TDI averages just a tick under 50 MPG for combined real world city/highway driving.

  • avatar
    Ernie

    Hey, if a suburban with 6 passengers wants to drive in a carpool lane, great.

    What I don’t get is my MPG isn’t going up even though I’m drafting prius’ every day on my commute for roughly 20 miles. What gives?

    In NY/CT, we have a fast lane . . . that’s it :D

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    It’s called an HOV lane for a reason: it is for high-occupancy vehicles, not hybrid vehicles.

    If there are less than two people in your vehicle – hybrid or not – then you shouldn’t be in that lane, full stop.

    Maybe one day an “HOV/Efficiency lane” will come about – where hybrids, EVs, and diesels with only the driver aboard can share the lane with carpoolers. But that day is not today.

    Until then, hybrid drivers are more than welcome to drive in the HOV lane — provided more than two occupants are in their cars.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    I love it when entitled lefties get bitchy. Good theater.

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    So the mind wonders…

    Can I take a 250cc motorcycle that gets 65mpg in the HOV lane by myself?

    Can full electric vehicles with 1 person use the hov lane or does it have to be a hybrid?

    What are the current rules on this in cali ? (no hov lane here in Illinois that I know of…)

    • 0 avatar
      polpo

      Motorcycles qualify for the HOV lane. They will continue to qualify. Also in California, you can ride in between lanes on a motorcycle, so you often don’t even need to use the HOV lane if traffic is stopped or slow (at your own risk, of course).

      Full electric vehicles (and CNG-burning vehicles) can get an HOV access sticker like the hybrids. I’ve seen a Tesla with a sticker blazing down the HOV lane here in the Bay Area. Their stickers will expire in 2011 just like the hybrids’.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      Interesting polpo! Thanks for the update. No way I’d ever split lanes on my bike. It’s dangerous enough as it is…..

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Sure hybrids get good mileage. But they should also be deducted several green-points because of the environmentally unfriendly process required to manufacture them. All of the dirty diesel-fuled heavy machinery needed to strip-mine the materials for 200lbs of batteries are not exactly earth friendly. Neither are the ships that have to carry the raw materials to China where they are refined in an earth unfriendly way, before being shipped via cargo again to Japan. Then there’s the matter of recycling these batteries. Hybrid owners claim to be environmentally conscious. But they are ignoring the things they don’t see. A car should have only one drivetrain, not two.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Just a question for you there Adidas:

      How many barrels of oil (or equivalent energy) does it take to manufacture a Prius including all parts and accessories?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      No to mention what’s the invironmental impact of mining 200lbs of litium for their batteries? Carbon emissions and oil mining are tame compared to raw chemical and metal extraction. And now the extraction is done in impoverished countries because there aren’t stringent environmental restrictions in place and labor is cheap and courts can be bought.

      I am not trying to say that every car buyer should feel guilt for their purchase. However, if you’re looking for some tree hugging cred, buying a new car chalk full of plastic and batteries and electronics, you’re full of it and know nothing about the environment. If you want good gas mileage, a prius makes sense. If you want to minimize your impact on the planet, you shouldn’t be buying a new car.

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    Man,
    I agree with the great majority of those in this debate.

    I’m also sick and tired of yahoos who bought the bloomin things thinking you are better than I… when you’re / they are more suited to driving a golf cart.. with less ability than a child.

    The concept is fantastic… when modeled on a city use.. not hwy.

    And frankly..
    I dont give a damn if yahoos buy a pious Prius.. cause its also true, a VW TDI would woop its ass 10ways to Sunday.. and ya might even like driving the damn thing.

    But..
    A bunch of pious Prius’ with only a driver.. in the HOV lane.. does nothing. (Please lord dont strike me, it actually makes more sense for a passenger-LOADED van / suv to be crusing the lane.. than the PRIUS).

    But thats just my $.02.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Priui or not, the whole HOV thing has always had me wondering whether traffic would move faster as a whole if we had 4 lanes of ‘unfiltered’ traffic rather than 3 lanes and a “special people” lane.

    What is the fundamental concept behind HOV lanes anyhow? To improve national gas milage or to relieve congestion? It’s certainly not about efficiency in broader terms since you have a lane that is not being used to its maximum traffic handling capacity.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I always understood that the HOV lanes were for traffic congestion and a way to reward people who actually do carpool. The environmental benefit was just icing on the cake.

      I laughed at the special people lane comment, but being the son of a truck driver, I know that many of them wished they didn’t have to drive with ‘four wheelers’. In a ‘blue sky’ world, there would be an entire alternate interstate system just for commercial rigs. Then all the four wheelers could all just cut each other off, instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Geozinger: Are you from the future? Your idea of “an entire alternate interstate system just for commercial rigs” sounds pretty radical. I suppose these rigs should all be connected together in a row and perhaps ride on hardened wheels and tracks to minimize rolling resistance and perhaps even be powered by electricity or even some kind of diesel-electric hybrid? Get real: This is America!

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    it’s been proven the Fiesta Econetic beats the Prius on both mpg AND emissions… AND is much more environmentally friendly to make and eventually dispose of

    but alas… the Prius beats it on the Ed Begley/Al Gore factor

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yes, and the Fiesta is also much, much smaller than the Prius.

      And, unless you opt for one of the very small-displacement diesels, it will still use more fuel and produce more emissions. If you get one of those diesels (which you can’t in North America) you’ll get a car that’s much, much slower than the Prius, too.

      I don’t understand why people fail to realize this, but many of the miracle Euro-mobiles that get better mileage than the Prius are cramped, tinny and very slow.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    The reality of CA is almost nobody carpools. A CUV with 3 passengers is a rare thing.

    When you’re in the carpool lane in SoCal it’s mostly parents with kids and occasionally a wife / SO dropping off a hubby (vice versa)

    I do love the Prius hate. I think it’s entertaining how people read so much into a car choice

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Yes, like people claiming that SUV owners buy their vehicles to compensate for physical…inadequacies. Plenty of stereotyping from both sides, from what I’ve seen.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Getting rid of car seat requirements for kids would go some ways towards ending the “one car per child” school drop zone reality. Many parents, given the option to weigh the incremental added safety, versus the inconvenience of not letting their kid hitch a ride in the neighbor’s “scaled for that once a year Disneyland trip” Sienna back and forth to school, would at least some time come down on the side of sanity.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    If you want to roll solo in an HOV lane, just get a motorcycle. Federal law (obeyed by all states who want to feed at the DOT trough) allows motorcycles in the HOV lanes on the theory that bikes have a smaller footprint, better gas mileage, and less chance of being splattered in lower density traffic. Also building a 400lb motorcycle consumes a mere fraction of the resources necessary to build a 3500lb hybrid car.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    My Kawasaki KLR650 gets 60+ miles per gallon. So if one really wanted to ride to work by themselves in an enviornmentally friendly way that would be the way to go. Sooo, where is my “I love the Earth more than you” gold star?

  • avatar
    SacredPimento

    Good. Get the hybrids back into their element – stop & go traffic. Prius hate or not. That was a stupid stupid stupid decision to begin with. I’m glad this ‘perk’ is expiring.

    Dr. Nguyen Van Falk, +1

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    Cadillac Escalade Hybrid: 21/22 plowing down the HOV.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

    You took the words right out of my mouth! A hybrid would be far better off stuck in traffic than trucking down the HOV lane.

    I saw a Prius owner, here in Michigan, hauling-ass past me on I-75. I was doing just under 80 in the center lane (flow of traffic) and this Prius driver must ahve been doing about 90. He was on the cell phone (driving one-handed at 90 mph) and smoking on top of it all.

    I’m so sick of these self-indulgent and smug dicks with a sense of entitlement.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Commercial psychology unleashed on the ignorant can be surprisingly effective.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    Yeah bring back the Hummer self-indulgent dudes b/c that was better.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    I remember reading this column. That guy gives a bad name to people who bought a hybrid just so they could get a fuel efficient commuter car. Until I see a stripped-down hybrid with manual locks, windows, and no A/C, you are just as materialistic as any luxury car owner, if not more. They just wanted a comfortable car, and Volvo drivers want safety for themselves and their families (quite the opposite of self-centered). You want to project your holier-than-thou attitude on everyone. The hot air you blow negates all the emissions saved by hybrids in California.

    That felt good. But don’t think I’m some kind of environment hater. I love cars, but I also want to protect the environment. That’s why I’m getting a GTI. They are very fast but also quite fuel-efficient.

  • avatar
    carve

    Oh- the sense of entitlement to speical privledges is infuriating! Basically, what they’re saying is they got a hybrid as an excuse to not have to carpool. I love it how a special, short-term privledge suddenly becomes a right which is a punishment to take away.

    What made me mad in the first place is the CA government mandating a particular TECHNOLOGY for the privlidge, and saying the purpose was to encourage the purchase of high-mpg vehicles. If that was the purpose, why didn’t they just allow the privlidge to ALL vehicles over a certain mpg (either absolute, or for their class), regardless of what technology was used to get there? It’s the same story with trying to ban incandescent lights: don’t force a particular technology, set the standard on the goal (in these cases, energy efficiency) and let the market pick out the most cost-effective solution.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      “What made me mad in the first place is the CA government mandating a particular TECHNOLOGY for the privlidge, and saying the purpose was to encourage the purchase of high-mpg vehicles. If that was the purpose, why didn’t they just allow the privlidge to ALL vehicles over a certain mpg (either absolute, or for their class), regardless of what technology was used to get there?”

      Agreed. Why not incentivize people to downsize or move to a more fuel efficient car? Give them a tax break if they buy a car that gets better mileage than the one they are replacing. Don’t penalize them if they need to go up in size however, I’m thinking of growing families who might need a bigger car/van/SUV.

      But make it clear there are other benefits besides the fuel savings or lower emissions. Given enough hints, people can’t help but do the right thing.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Agreed. Why not incentivize people to downsize or move to a more fuel efficient car?

      In California, emissions matter as much, and possibly more than, economy, so there’s a reason to pick a technology that results in lower tailpipe emissions. A million diesel vehicles, even if they got the same economy as a Prius, would be a heath disaster in Los Angeles.

      Now, what would really help would be sustainable urban development. Good luck with that anywhere in the United States, but especially in California, where sprawl is, functionally, out of control.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      If emissions were the goal, then set an emission standard, rather than a technology that hopefully lowers emissions. There are plenty of PZEV non-hybrid cars.

      Furthermore, the only place hybrids have an advantage in emissions is in stop & go driving. Allowing them in the HOV lane limits this, and makes ‘em like pretty much any other comparable car.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    BTW, a year or two ago the column had to ban any mention of the word “Prius” because of the people like this. They also banned “kidpooling” because some people wanted an age limit to the carpool lane (?).

  • avatar
    ruckover

    Autojunkie, just wondering, but how do you know that the Prius driver who passed you felt entitled to anything? Michigan does not have HOV lanes, so why do you lump this driver in with the “entitled” California drivers? Is it that he was doing 20 over the limit while you were only doing 10 over? I know that when I am speeding and I get passed, I feel righteous indignation.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Here, let me piss eevryone off. I drive a gas hog pig pickup truck without the work or even leisure requirements of needing it, I just like having a truck.

    Yet I (now) live in a compact urban environemnt where I walk to work and play, saving my truck for the occasional Home Depot run or 50 MPH cruise through the backroads of Virginia, where it’s at maximum fuel efficiency (23MPG for the Iron Block V6). Otherwise it stays parked 10 – 14 days at a time.

    I am a carnivore that believes meat should form part of every meal.

    I recycle because it is the logical and smart thing to do.

    Hybrid owners are usually smug jackasses.

    Truck owners are usually beligerrent a-holes.

    There, have I pushed everyone buttons yet, or did I forget anyone?

  • avatar
    M1EK

    It’s amazing how many people who all sound kind of the same have posted paraphrases of the thoroughly discredited Prius v Hummer study. Huh. What an amazing coincidence.

  • avatar
    miso_hot

    I’m not even going to commment on this article. What the hell are you guys, 5 years old? Going back and forth trying to disprove one another to see who’s right. It’s just a matter of opinion, no need to get egotistic and see who’s right. grow the f*ck up.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I suppose all those people on the hybrid forums that say 30-45mph will get you the best MPG results are all liars?

    The hypermilers as well?

    it doesn’t take much more than a simple Google search to see that somewhere around 30-50mph is the best for optimal fuel economy and 30-50mph is not highway speeds, let alone the speed you should be doing in a carpool lane.

  • avatar
    pete

    In my experience (on US 101) the peck of pious Priuses do not *cruise* past in the HOV as the hybrid owner claims, they whine past at 85 mph – helping to defeat *any* environmental benefit there may have been otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Well, at Prius at 85mph is going to get better mileage than many other vehicles going the same speed, and certainly better mileage than the poor buggers sitting in gridlock in a non-hybrid-electic car.

      Hate the Prius all you will, but it does wring more efficiency from it’s powerplant than just about anything on the road, and certainly more than anything it’s size.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I don’t have a problem with high mpg vehicles getting an HOV pass, but they should include the golf TDI and a 1990 CRX as well. Anything that gets over 40mpg on the highway or some other arbitrary number.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Burning a gallon of diesel results in a good bit more CO2 than does a gallon of gas; about 15% more I believe.

      As pch101 used to remind everyone back when he was a TTAC pissing match regular, the breakdown of how much diesel and how much gas is made from a given quantity of crude is also somewhat fixed. Combined with diesel engines’ (at least traditionally) greater relative increase in efficiency at constant load versus gas engines, the optimum use of the mix would be to use diesel for constant load applications, like long range goods hauling, trains and generators, and gas for more typical passenger car uses, like idling in traffic. Come to think of it, use hybrids for idling and stop and go, as that’s where they really shine compared to all alternatives.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @stuki:

      I thought that diesels created less C02 than gas engines?

      Isn’t the big trouble with diesels the nitrogen oxide and soot they produce relative to a gas engine?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yes and no.

      A gallon of diesel contains, physically, more carbon per volume than does gasoline. This is part of why you go further on diesel: you’re burning more fuel by mass, even if the volume is constant.

      So, all things being equal, if a diesel car and a gas car are both getting 5L/100km, the diesel is emitting more carbon.

    • 0 avatar

      OK, how about my TDI running on home-brew biodiesel made from used canola oil? I’m getting 50 MPG city/highway average, and not emitting any trapped-since-the-paleozoic carbon. Should I be allowed to drive along in the HOV lane with 4 empty seats?

      The answer is no.

      HOV means high occupancy vehicle and with only 1 person in the car, no matter how “green” their emissions or how efficient their car might be, has no business being granted use of the HOV lane. Period.

      I don’t care if rainbows and baby bunnies come out of your tailpipe, 1 occupant means NO HOV access. We should be encouraging carpooling, not entitlement.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Excessive population is the problem. The special lane should be reserved for people who haven’t reproduced. It’s ridiculous that a person’s own offspring count toward the passenger count when trying to qualify for HOV status. It’s not like that 3-year-old, by carpooling with parent, means one fewer vehicle on the road.

    So cancel the hybrid loophole and cancel the 2 or 3 person requirement. The HOV lanes should be reserved for people who haven’t contributed to the long-term fundamental problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      Truer word have never been spoken.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Woo hoo! One lane all to myself!! I love it.

      IMO, HOV lanes should be eliminated as a rule. “Everyone” paid for the construction of the highways and it doesn’t make mathematical sense to reserve a whole lane for a small fraction of the driving population that has 2 or more people in the car.

      The wise and all-knowing government should simply stop with the social engineering and focus on relieving traffic congestion for “everyone”. I’d start with raising the speed limits, especially increasing the “minimum”, as it might help to get more cars “off” the freeways more quickly. Then it might help to synchronize traffic signals so that cars getting off the freeways aren’t stopped in their tracks (literally) by a phalanx of red lights.

      BTW, whatever happened to the Bold and Italic format buttons?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      What would raising the speed limit do for gridlock? There’s no building yourself out of congestion. Too many people using too many cars. So why not reward a group of people pulling together to use one car? Didn’t those multiple people in one car contribute more to the road construction and maintenance because there’s more people in the car? I suppose not always because they’re using less gas.

      Traffic, like most things, is a complex problem and one solution won’t solve it. It’s main component is too many damn people though.

  • avatar

    I just want to say that calling people liars and spreaders of FUD is outside the bounds of civil discourse on TTAC. The new management may have different standards of what constitutes flaming but I’ve gotten emails from RF for less.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      +1
      I got one for no more than that several years ago when I first started posting here. A person said something that I found very offensive, and I wrote a flaming retort before I thought better of it.

      There is a serious lack of civility in these posts. There is no need to call somebody a liar when their “lie” is something you read into their post and was not explicitly stated. Second, while the letter writers quoted may be morons, there is no reason to refer to Prius drivers in general as morons.

    • 0 avatar

      Email has been sent. Thanks for helping keep TTAC true to its standards.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I feel ME1K is being fair in his interpretation. They’re not direct lies, but Mt Falk’s posts are disingenuous and do run to sophistry, which does fall under the classification of FUD.

      And ME1K’s points are certainly more civil than much of the subsequent dialogue contrary to his position. I assume it’s ok to casually throw “Pious” around, now? Or to casually take the mickey out of, and thoroughly generalize, Prius owners?

  • avatar
    James2

    Dr. Falk,

    Did I say anything about building more of anything? I suggest raising limits because it “might” help get cars OFF the freeways, especially here in HNL where our DOT still has its head in the sand. Our highest allowed speed is 65, but only for short stretches. So, when you have too many cars bunched together, driving too slowly to allow the system to “drain”, in a sense, you get congestion.

    Still, the math doesn’t work out. Parts of our main drag, H-1, is only four lanes wide, so to remove 25 percent of ultimate capacity to reward/benefit/whatever a tiny percentage of overall traffic is, face it, retarded. Let’s be generous and call it 15% of traffic… you know it’s not that high. That’s still 85% of drivers you are screwing with HOV lanes.

  • avatar
    vento97

    Hell, I’ve been driving 4-cylinder vehicles for over 30 years – not because of some environmental concern, but because I don’t like shelling out a lot of money for gas. Probably unlike some holier-than-thou people who were suddenly “enlightened” by the “Green” buzzword, and all the fanfare that goes along with it.

    Now I know why the Prius has been nicknamed “The PIOUS”. – it is more of a reflection of the driver than the car itself..

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If you want to address the problem of congestion, HOV lanes and public transit is a band-aid on the real issue that is deplorable urban planning. If you’ve built communities where everyone needs to drive an hour or more to get from work to home to shopping, you’ve already failed, and adding coping mechanisms like blanket-coverage transit or HOV lanes is just enabling and prolonging that failure.

    Cities ought to have been designed with mixed, medium-density (no, not high-rises: think ~1900 suburbs with small lots) residential and light commercial zones where people live, and industrial hubs where they work.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      And absolutely no difference in allowed density between any two neighborhoods within the same political unit. Meaning, if apartment buildings are allowed anywhere in a city, it should be allowed everywhere, with the exact same maximum density.

      Take away the ability of the politically connected to zone themselves away in “single family” zones with good schools, while those less special only have the option of cramped apartment buildings next to a freeway; and the latter wouldn’t be so tempted to just bolt the place for a smidgen of freedom from self appointed “superiors” bent on planning how they should live.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    GM should be praying that California keeps this program going. For a time, used Priuses with stickers were selling for $4,000 more than Priuses without. If you apply that to the Volt, that’s another $4,000 of “subsidy” that brings it closer to the realm of affordability!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Prii are smug, but if they offered a wagon version, and the cost difference was <=$4000 above a Honda CR-V, yeah I'm in.


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