Monday, July 20, 2015

Living the life electric - part 5.

(This post follows from last week's - best read that first if you missed it).
Utah has a program for vehicles with lower than average emissions. Their 'clean fuel decal' program means you either get a custom number plate, or a number plate decal to indicate that your vehicle is in this program. There are a couple of perks - free use of the HOV lane even with a single occupant, and free parking downtown. The weird thing is that electric cars don't automatically qualify for this program where some hybrids do. For example if you buy a Prius, you automatically get the clean fuel decal. But if you buy a LEAF or a Ford Focus Electric, you don't. Because according to the Utah State Legislature, electric engines are somehow not quite as clean as petrol-electric hybrids.
Instead, owners of electric cars have to enter into a lottery for - wait for it - an annual allocation of 48 clean fuel decals.
So yeah - this state is really getting behind their air quality programs.
Interesting point to note : we have some of the worst air pollution in the country now because we have a closed valley that causes inversions, and two oil refineries in said valley. Of course, in the name of clean air, the legislature just approved a huge refinery expansion whilst at the same time attempting to encourage people to drive less. Second interesting point to note : most modern cars emit less crap from their exhaust than they suck in to the airbox. But don't let facts and logic stand in the way of local government....