Ford Protests California Bill Giving Japanese Hybrids HOV Lane Access
Ford Motor Co. is protesting California legislation that would give Japanese-built, gasoline-electric cars special access to car-pool lanes while excluding the U.S. automaker's new Escape hybrid sport-utility vehicle.
The bill would let hybrids that get at least 45 miles per gallon use high-occupancy vehicle lanes even with only the driver present. That would allow access for Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius car and Honda Motor Co.'s Insight and hybrid Civic cars, the only gas-electric vehicles sold in the United States. The Escape hybrid, which began production this month and will go on sale in September, is rated at 31 m.p.g. on highways by U.S. regulators.
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