Re: US govt proposes rules for hybrid cars
What's confusing about this is that at least some (most?) states require special registration for the car. In the case of California the number of vehicles they would allow was limited (hence the media hype over used hybrids going for $4000 more IF they had the HOV 'OK' sticker.)
With all the FUD about why Hybrids aren't *really* practical, the CNV paper, etc. consumers are getting mixed messages about whether the hybrids are financially affordable by anyone other than the wealthy, whether or not they actually pay off in savings at the pump, or whether or not they really help the environment -- much less the US governments mixed message about global warming and if it's really a problem. <sigh>
Seems to me that states which are really serious about emissions and fuel consumption would just grant hybrids unlimited access to HOV lanes (either no registration required *or* no limit on the number of qualifying hybrids that can register). This makes sense since motorcycles generally don't even need to register and the Prius actually gets better average fuel economy than a lot of motorcyles!
If consumers are willing to pay $4000 for a used hybrid with a sticker, it sounds like this is an easy way to get consumers to do the right thing without imposing burdens on anyone (e.g. car companies belly-aching about the 35mpg CAFE proposal).
The need to register, caps, government tax credits which huge numbers of consumers ended up either not getting at all or only being allowed to claim a partial credit all create confusion and frustration which will slow the adoption. I've learned years ago... people will basically do the easy thing. If it's complicated then they wont bother with it. Qualifying for benefits of hybrid (or any other low-emission/zero emission vehicle) shouldn't be complicated.