Good news for Californians who own (or will soon own) a Ford Focus Electric, a great electric vehicle we’ve featured here on CleanTechnica a few times: Ford Focus Electric drivers can now drive in California’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (CARB) approved this decision yesterday.
Now, for anyone who has driven in California’s most traffic-congested regions, I think you know this is a pretty nice perk. Los Angeles and the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area are ranked No. 3 and 7 when it comes to traffic congestion, according to the Texas Transportation Institute’s latest Urban Mobility Report. ” In Los Angeles alone, this congestion contributed to a total of 38 million gallons of wasted fuel over the course of a year. This congestion costs the average Los Angeles commuter an additional $1,464 a year.” And traffic is only expected to get worse as more and more drivers get on the road.
Now, add on the fact that the Ford Focus Electric fills up on electricity, and you’ve got even more to smile about. Filling up at night (completely), currently costs only $1 to $2 in California. At $5/gallon of gas (which I think California has already hit), that’s 5 to 10 times less than the $10 it would cost in a 38-mpg vehicle. Those savings will be highly appreciated by Focus Electric owners in coming years.
Other benefits of the Ford Focus Electric that Ford was keen (and rightfully so) to point out in the news release that went with this announcement:
- Ford Focus Electric drivers in California are eligible for an extra $2,500 rebate on top of the $7,500 federal tax incentive offered across the U.S.
- With gas rising to about $5/gallon, those who choose to drive the most fuel-efficient car in the U.S. will save a ton of money on fuel in the coming months and years.
- The Ford Focus costs less than its leading competitor, the Nissan Leaf, and charges faster (twice as fast, according to the company).