It’s been an incentive and perk of owning an electric vehicle for more than a decade. However, starting Oct. 1, EVs and hybrid and vehicles will no longer get a free ride in Maryland’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
As of Sept. 30, the state’s HOV sticker program will end, according to the Motor Vehicle Administration’s website. Under the program, drivers of plug-in or hybrid vehicles, titled and registered in Maryland, have been allowed to use the lanes regardless of the number of passengers.
The privilege, which has been in place since 2010, will end as demand for electric vehicles continues to rise. Federal and state incentives have encouraged the purchase of EVs and hybrids to reduce the number of gasoline-burning vehicles on the roads.
In Maryland, HOV lanes on I-270 in Montgomery County, and along U.S. 50 in Prince George’s County, are reserved for car pools, van pools, buses, and motorcycles during designated time periods.
In Virginia, as of 2019, most solo drivers of vehicles bearing clean special fuel license plates in Virginia, were no longer allowed to drive for free in HOV lanes. Some plug-in and electric vehicles, on a list provided by Virginia’s DMV, can use the HOV lane use exemption through September 2025.
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