Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Red Carpet for "Green" Drivers

Tax breaks, company subsidies, less guilt -- hybrids owners enjoy plenty of perks from owning "greener" rides. From the looks of it, more are on the way. I've come across several articles recently that look at some new benefits alloted to hybrid owners.
In Ohio, for instance, hybrid owners can drive in the HOV lane, even if they're the only one in the car. Patagonia, a company known for its environmentally friendly policies, gives its best parking spaces not to the "higher ups", but to owners of hybrids. New York City's proposed congestion tax (which charges drivers a fee upon entering the city at certain times) would exempt ambulances, taxis, and you guessed it, hybrids.

While these may be good ideas, policy makers should consider the implications of bestowing privileges on all cars in this increasingly general category of "hybrid". Take the Ohio HOV case for example. Some are questioning why only hybrids can enjoy this HOV lane privilege while other cars that are equally --or more-- efficient cannot.

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