. Toyota Prius Drivers Can Now Cruise in
California's Carpool Lanes
TORRANCE, Calif. -
Toyota Prius drivers can now apply for Clean Air Vehicle stickers
from the Department of Motor Vehicles that allow them to drive with
only one occupant in California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.
"This is truly a validation
of hybrid technology and its benefits," said Jim Press, Toyota Motor
Sales, U.S.A. President and Chief Operating Officer. "Prius owners
can now enjoy the freedom of driving in carpool lanes by themselves
and knowing they're getting high fuel mileage and generating fewer
emissions at the same time."
The Toyota Prius is
the world's first and best-selling hybrid passenger car. Powered
by Toyota's unique Hybrid Synergy Drive, the Prius is 90 percent
cleaner for smog-forming emissions than the average vehicle and
has an EPA fuel estimate of 55 miles per gallon combined city/highway.
At low speeds, the Prius is
powered by an electric motor. As speed increases, a gasoline engine seamlessly
takes over. When drivers slow or brake, the energy is regenerated into the
battery so it never needs to be charged or to be plugged in.
The Prius has been on sale
in California since 2000 and nearly 60,000 have been sold through July 2005
by California dealers.
Access to California's carpool
lanes is the second significant benefit for Prius drivers recently announced.
The Energy Bill that recently passed Congress includes incentives ranging
from $2,000-$3,000 for Toyota's hybrid vehicles beginning January 1, 2006.