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VA (HOV 2) toll road commuters w/o Clean Fuel tags?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by SteveTheTech, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    Greetings all,

    I keep seeing the same few Model Ss every few days on the commute from Herndon to Alexandria while toiling in my Mazda :redface:. A few have the clean fuel tags that allow use of the sometimes clear HOV lane and do not make use of the convenience. I know I would be passing people like it were a government holiday if I could be. There are only a few perks allowed in this state to EV owners and it is an opportunity to by pass the nonsensical traffic common on the Dulles Toll Road.
    Why?

    Also I tip my hat to those of you that have witty or creative tags, nice touch.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Here in Ontario, we can get "Green Vehicle" licence plates at no cost that would allow me to drive solo in the HOV lanes. I don't have them. Why? Well, I didn't really buy the vehicle for "environmental" reasons and I think I would feel a bit hypocritical. Also, the intent of the HOV lanes is to reduce congestion, and since my Model S takes up about the same space as any other car, I don't think that meets the intent of the HOV lanes in the first place.
     
  3. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Not a NOVA resident now, but my understanding is there are two clean fuel tags now. The old ones allowed (and still allow) use of HOV lanes but the new ones don't. I don't think the new clean fuel tags convey any special privileges anymore.
     
  4. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    That's correct (mostly). There are actually 3 versions of the Virginia clean fuel tag with the oldest version getting the most benefit (more roads where you can legally use the HOV lane with only a driver). If you get the newest version, you can't use the HOV I-66 or I-95/395 corridor. You can transfer older-version plates from another vehicle to the Tesla if you have them. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

    I personally would like to see a Virginia EV plate with HOV access benefits on all roads. Pure EVs are pretty uncommon (unlike hybrids) and the burden on traffic flow would be minimal (for now). The DMV does have a way for any organization to propose a specialized plate (it's pretty crazy how many specialized plates you can choose from in Virginia). http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/platesponsor_special.pdf
    If there was enough interest, there could even be an official Tesla Virginia plate, ironic given the barriers the DMV has put up against Tesla!



     
  5. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    I did expect a few people to respond with a comment along those lines and completely respect that, it is quite admirable. I figured Tesla owners were good people...I didn't expect them to be the type to willingly wait in traffic though :cool:
    IMO it does not seem like you are gaming the system, to me it is on the same level as claiming federal tax credits. If they are going to offer an incentive why not partake? I know personally I'd take a bit of hypocrisy to be home 10 minutes early.

    There are two clean fuel plates. One for cars registered before 2006 and one for cars register after.
    The rules are a little strange, but basically HOV 2 roads (267 in NoVa and I64 and I264 in Hampton Roads) allow single occupant usage of the HOV lanes during HOV times with the tags.
    (http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-rulesfaq.asp)

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    Oh I love that idea.
    I bet a once the Tysons store is up and running...several years in the future there will be a big enough community in this state that we could easy find 300 people to commit to purchasing the plate. Especially if it came with perks like full HOV privileges. I bet the Model X would help sell that point, and other EVs have such low range that they need the ability to keep moving.
     
  6. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Here's a WaPo article from 2012 that summarizes the rules. As noted above, there are now three different categories of exemption.

    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-05-12/local/35457765_1_hov-lanes-hybrid-vehicle-clean-fuel

    At least the DMV has finally updated their list of qualifying vehicles to include the Model S. And the Model X, too.

    http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/vehicles/#cleanspecialfuel.asp

    One further thought--that DMV website is hilarious for the Byzantine procedures necessary to actually get one of these plates.
     
  7. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    bw.jpg foc.jpg parrot.jpg
    Given how complicated the process is, I am surprised how many truly random special plates Virginia has. Surely there are more EV/Tesla supporters than parrotheads! I was tempted by the clean coal plate since most EVs run on coal in Virginia.
     
  8. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    If you're out of state in a MS but driving 267 in HOV I wonder if they will stop you...
     
  9. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/platesponsor_special.pdf)
    The process of creating the tags is not very complicated (in the context of seeking state approval for something) in Va. Having to collect the paid applications and managing the process might be a little annoying and time consuming...but possible. I wonder if TM would approve a Tesla fan club (or similar) plates using some form of their logo. I bet finding a sponsoring rep wouldn't be that hard...well in NoVa at least.

    I wonder if the DMV would hold a grudge?

    Sounds reasonable enough to me but...

    "Can I use Virginia's HOV lanes in my hybrid vehicle even though my car is registered in Maryland?

    No, in order for a hybrid vehicle to use Virginia's HOV lanes, you must have Virginia clean special fuel license plates. This is the only way we have to monitor the use of these lanes when there is only one individual in a car. In order for Virginia to honor Maryland plates,we would need a reciprocal agreement between the two states, and no such agreement exists."
    (
    http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-rulesfaq.asp)

    I assume that applies to PA...and beyond.
     
  10. JST

    JST Active Member

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    The process for buying most of the special interest plates is very easy; it's just the Clean Fuel plates that require manual processing.

    I've also thought about getting the Friends of Coal plate, because of irony. But given how hot-button an issue that is around here, I'm afraid people wouldn't understand that I was joking.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    One could also argue that it is better environmentally to have ICE cars use the HOV lanes since they operate more efficiently (and hence more cleanly) while there is no downside to an EV sitting in stop-and-go traffic.

    I do hear you though! It would be awfully tempting to take advantage of the perk, but I do wonder if it could simply be another cause for people to complain about the "entitled rich people with their expensive Teslas".
     
  12. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    Ohh very good point.

    Given the overall superior range of the MS I would not think it (energy spent waiting in traffic) would be much of a concern for this crowd, I could however see it being more of an issue with the MiEv or Leaf...not really doing much for the argument "entitled rich people with their expensive Teslas" thought. (I think you really opened my eyes with that point of view, I am not surprised but am very happy to see that and wonder how common that thought process is.)

    I guess HOV usage would really depend on how congested your HOV lanes are (it would be kind of wasted if everyone drove an EV...or would it), the EV climate of the region, and most importantly the person behind the wheel. On my commute traffic really is not too bad, some days it could (possibly) save you half an hour if not longer. In Virginia there are few advantages for making the greener choice, other than bypassing emissions inspections ($28 every two years) and usage of the HOV2 lanes (the major commuter routes in this state are HOV3). We have a very politically divided state and in few areas is this more apparent than the corridor mentioned in this thread. It is less a divide between the haves and the have-nots ($2.74 single direction toll by itself excludes many) and more the progressive mindset common in the close in suburbs creeping out into "horse and hunt country".
    (Please note the above paragraph is in NO way an attempt to start a political debate, it is solely so an attempt to explain the harsh division of the area of Western Fairfax and Eastern Loudoun counties)
     
  13. Transepoch

    Transepoch Member

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    Nah, slipping into the HOV lane means they pull away faster, preventing us from continuing to gaze longingly, and are forced to return attention back to the doldrums of traffic.
     
  14. T Grin

    T Grin New Member

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    Unfortunately they will stop you (even if you're in-state!) if you don't have the aforementioned Special Clean Fuel tags.
     
  15. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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    #15 ABVA, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    I assume that Dulles Toll road is NOT part of I-66 or I-95/395 corridor and use it quiet frequently.

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    Size is not relevant, that is why they do not measure the size of a Prius, Volt vs. other vehicles and also allow solo Motorbike riders to use the HOV lanes without restrictions. Intent of HOV lanes from very beginning was to encourage Energy Conservation. TESLA and other EVs are better than any other automobile out there when it comes to Energy Conservation, hence IMO the privilege is not just justified, but also a responsible way to use it as a tool to encourage other drivers to participate in efficient energy usage.
     

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