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Green Plates, HOV lanes and Hybrid issues

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Judge Advocate, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Judge Advocate

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    The is my opinion only but personally, I don't think Hybrid vehicles should be allowed in the HOV lanes , green plates or not.
    At highway speeds, Hybrids would be using their gas guzzling engines would they not? So much for green energy in this case.
    I think Green plates should only be given to all electric cars such as the Tesla Model S, the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model S.
    Also the Roadster and a few other all electric vehicles and that's it.
    Green plates are issued because the vehicles they are attached to are supposed to be fully sustainable energy cars. Hybrids don't fit into that category.
    They are simply a gas car with a little bit of battery power. It still goes through a lot of gas.
    Again, my opinion on this and perhaps any of us with a hybrid might only use the battery power for the most part in town anyway and only use the gas part on long trips. So who am I to speak? LOL!
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Only plug-in hybrids are allowed Green Plates, not pure hybrids like the Prius. Many, like the Volt, can operate electrically at pretty much any speed and for as many miles as most people do in a day anyway, and I think the significantly lowered emissions (sure, not zero) are of benefit to society. The HOV lane benefit is ending next spring anyway, so the value of the Green Plate is kinda diminished anyway.
     
  3. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    But don't forget it was supposed to have ended June 30, 2015 - an extension is not out of the question.

    I have a co-worker who drives a Volt and he said that he only uses a few litres every six months.

    My local Wal~Mart has parking spots for Hybrid vehicles - but I use them in my Model S. I wonder if I am technically breaking their rules?
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The extension was really just to accommodate the Pan-Am Games. I work with the Ministries of Energy, Transportation and Finance from time to time on EV issues, and it sounds to me like they intend to sunset the HOV use benefit... but I guess you never know what could happen in a year. There have been rumblings about the $8,500 rebate too.

    I had some thoughts on what other kinds of Green Plate benefits might be good over here.

    You're probably okay in those "Hybrid" spots. I think the intent here is to provide a little perk to low emission vehicles.
     
  5. rapoport3a

    rapoport3a Member

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    #5 rapoport3a, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
    Perhaps just a little bias in that HOV comment? :wink: If the gov't hears from many electric owners, it could mean something.
     
  6. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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    If the government scraps the EV HOV program it sends the message that there is nothing more to do for clean air and reducing fossil fuel use in transportation. We will be a long way from solving the problem next year. They would be dumb to stop it. It's one of the cheapest ways they can promote sustainable transport if they scale back the EV rebate program.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Not so much a "bias" but a reflection of what I'm sensing. As you know, my job affords me the opportunity to work on EV issues in the broader public sector, and there is a strong sentiment that too many "favors" are being afforded to EV owners. (There is a strong sentiment that anyone who can afford a Tesla doesn't need any government help). To a certain degree, HOV access is seen as a "Toronto thing" and there are strong feelings about that too, outside of the GTA (I realize there are HOV lanes outside of the GTA, but it's a perception). I really do want to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, but firmly believe doing things that alienate us from the general population is not the way to go. I find it hard to sit in a room and defend HOV lane access because it just seems a little too self-serving.
     
  8. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

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    May be taken out of context but if you did not drive an electric car would you still defend the HOV lane access? I feel I would since we know electricity if better for the environment.
     
  9. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    It isn't like Ontario has an extreme position in allowing electric vehicles in HOV lanes. A quick Google search shows that at least California and Maryland allow this and BC is considering it. Sure it is primarily a Toronto issue but why does that matter when other cities don't have congestion issues that would require HOV lanes.
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I am not opposed to EVs using HOV lanes philosophically. I am sensitive to the fact that it is being construed by the general populace as an unnecessary thing to do, and it is making EV owners look "smug" and like "entitled rich people". I worry it could actually backfire and create a rift between us EV owners and advocates and those we are trying to "convert". If we are looking to take actions to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, doing things that create animosity, IMHO, is not the way to go.
     
  11. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    But EV<> Tesla. As of March 2015 there were 11,347 EVs sold in Canada. Less than 1800 were Teslas. There are far more Volts and Leafs on the road. So only a small minority of EVs are driven by "entitled rich people".
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not, Volt and Leaf owners get lumped into this association as well. There is the view that even these cars are more expensive than their counterpart ICE, and assumptions that people who buy them (more so pure BEVs like the Leaf) are buying them on top of an ICE they might already own. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying I subscribe to all of this, but perceptions exist.
     
  13. tesltoronto

    tesltoronto Member

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    Are HOV lanes to make the province environmentally friendly or to reduce congestion in the highways? If it is the former, I would say that Electric vehicles should be allowed to use the lanes. If it is the latter, then I agree that EVs should not have the privilege.

    I recently got pulled over by a cop on the Gardiner. He said that in the Gardiner HOV EVs are not allowed but in the QEW they were. I asked him where does QEW end and Gardiner begin and he was not sure (he did not give me a ticket - just a warning).
     
  14. sitter_k

    sitter_k Member

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    427 is probably the line
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The original intent was to reduce the number of cars on the road by having drivers "double up" and commute together. It gets watered down a bit by the fact that kids count as second passengers even though they would not be driving a car themselves otherwise. The reduction of cars would theoretically reduce congestion.

    EVs were allowed in those lanes simply as a temporary "perk" to spur adoption. Similar to how Norway allows EVs in dedicated bus lanes.

    I'm sorta shocked at this. The Gardiner begins at Hwy 427 (the boundary of the City of Toronto). There are giant overhead signs and the Hwy signs along the side of the road change too. Prior to the City of Toronto amalgamation, the Gardiner began at the Humber River (the former boundary of the City of Toronto).
     
  16. Chrisizzle

    Chrisizzle Member

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    There is at least one Green Plates OK sign past the 427. The MTO workers who put down the signs were not paying attention in general. I believe I have driven most of the highways during the PanAm and the signs are not evenly distributed. (eg. One PanAm, One Green, One 3+ Passengers and repeat the series). Sometimes I will see three Green signs in a row and then nothing for miles.
     
  17. rapoport3a

    rapoport3a Member

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    Curious where that green plate sign is exactly, although it will be irrelevant after tomorrow.

    During this period, I've kept pretty much to my plan of not driving to Toronto. I went last week to Yorkdale and yesterday further south but took 401 to a location I'd normally get to by the Gardiner. Given that the nav was telling me that much of the Gardiner was congested, I figure I saved 30 minutes at least by going out of my way. Now that construction will occur on the Gardiner for quite a time (taking much longer than necessary, as is the norm in this province), I still recommend avoiding it, although of course the nav will tell you how bad it is.
     
  18. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Why can't the HOV lane initiative have multiple objectives? Reduce congestion and reduce GHG emissions and pollution.
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    No reason it can't. I just doesn't currently.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The whole thing about Provincial Highways - Okay ; City Expressways - Not Okay was just a giant exercise in confusion. If EVs were to be allowed in HOV lanes, it should have just been all of them. It's moot now with the City expressway lanes going away, but if the Olympics ever come to Toronto (God forbid) hopefully they will think this through a bit better.
     
  20. Judge Advocate

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    Funny thing happened yesterday. I was driving the Gardiner and 427 in the former HOV lanes and they were pretty clear of traffic whereas the other lanes were somewhat congested.
    I guess people don't realize the HOV lanes re no more.
    Great little perk if it can last a while.
     

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