Big debate in our office; with the short notice of Virginia changing their HOV rules, are Tesla's excluded from using the HOV on 267 and 66... or are they still allowed starting October 1st? What say you?
Virginia has been trying to make this happen for a decade. Their first efforts to rescind failed after backlash. Then they stumbled on the HOT lane as a way to achieve their goal, which has worked really well.
Now, as the number of us who have the old grandfathered tags has dwindled, our political power has fallen too. With the last segment of I395 transitioning to HOT lanes in the next month or so, there aren't many roads that remain HOV.
It appears that almost all PHEV and BEVs meet the federal standard that the state cannot repeal, so if you have a grandfathered plate, a PHEV or BEV, and use one of the few remaining HOV roads (Dulles toll road, I66 outside the beltway) you should still be able to use the HOV. If you do, I would recommend having all documentation in the car that you still comply.
Not sure there's anything to debate. My understanding was the only major roadway left in the NoVA area that allowed Teslas/EVs to ride HOV (exempt from the occupant requirements) was the Dulles Toll Road (267). My understanding is even after September 30th, EVs listed in the Federal List will continue be able to use the Dulles Toll Road HOV lane as long as those vehicles have the Clean Fuel tags...
Clean Special Fuel Plates & Vehicle Occupancy Requirements
Effective September 30, 2019, gas/electric hybrid vehicles displaying clean special fuel plates will no longer qualify for the HOV lane use exemption unless the required number of occupants are in the vehicles or the vehicles are qualifying plug-in electric vehicles.
Qualifying plug-in electric hybrids are determined based on federal law. For your vehicle to qualify, it must be included on this list. All other clean special fuel vehicles will continue to be eligible for the HOV lane use exemption until September 30, 2025.
Clean Special Fuel plates do NOT grant an exemption from the vehicle occupancy requirements on the following roadways.
In order to use these lanes for free on the above roadways, vehicles must carry the specified number of people and be equipped with an E-ZPass Flex set to "HOV" mode. Otherwise, drivers must pay a toll to access the lanes. For more information, visit virginiadot.org.