As of July 1st California’s hybrid owners no longer get to drive in the carpool lane (High Occupancy) if they are riding solo. Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid owners qualified for the special privilege six years ago and were given special yellow HOV lane stickers, but now solo drivers must suffer with the rest of the non-carpool vehicles in the regular lanes. There’s still one vehicle that does get to stay in the HOV lanes until 2015, the natural gas powered Honda Civic GX.
Drivers of the Honda Civic GX and all-new Civic Natural Gas get to keep their special access to the HOV lanes in California until January 2015.
“Civic GX drivers in California have long enjoyed the benefits of driving a compressed natural gas vehicle, whether it was saving time commuting in the carpool lane, paying lower fuel prices, reducing dependence on oil or reducing their CO2 footprint,” said Elmer Hardy, senior manager of alternative fuel marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With the all-new model coming this fall, drivers will continue to earn these benefits along with additional commuter-friendly features.”
The natural gas powered Civic was referred to as the Civic GX from 1998-2011, but for 2012 its been renamed the Civic Natural Gas. In the first half of the 2011, sales of the Civic GX have tripled. The 2012 model will be released this fall and is 12.5 percent more fuel efficient in the city than the 2011 model. The 2012 Civic Natural Gas gets 27/38/31 mpg.