According to the California legislature, the key to more alternative vehicles is increased access to California HOV lanes, or carpool lanes.
While I've been a fan of such programs in the past, shouldn't the California Senate be focused on how to pay the State's bills rather than on whether they can help the “struggling auto industry”?
Perhaps I'm just jaded by the financial state of affairs in my home state, but is allowing 40,000 more alternative vehicles into California HOV lanes really going to have that great of an impact on the California economy? Will it really dramatically change the plans of automakers? For instance, is HOV access the key to alternative vehicle viability?
Alternative cars such as the Chevy Volt, for example, will have their production capped for the next few years regardless of whether California offers HOV access or not. Already, California GM dealers are assuming that demand for the very limited Volt will enable them to add dealer markups as high $20,000 atop MSRP.
So, someone willing to pay an $20,000 extra for a Volt won't do so without an HOV pass?
There is no doubt that California legislators have done a lot to help promote alternative vehicles, but considering the state of the California economy and the intentionally limited supplies of alternative vehicles, aren't their better things to focus upon for these politicians?