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Empire State Of Drive: Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid Qualifies For New York Carpool Lane Access

"C-MAX Energi is America's most affordable plug-in hybrid and offers a top electric-only speed of up to 85 mph," said C.J. O'Donnell, group marketing manager for electrification. "Others clearly appreciate the environmental benefit, too, which is why we are seeing programs like Clean Pass embrace Ford's electrified lineup."

Clean Pass is a multi-agency pilot program partnering three New York state agencies – the State Department of Transportation, the State Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Programs such as Clean Pass are growing in number to encourage the use of vehicles that produce fewer emissions and use less gas. They range from the $3,750 federal tax credit owners may receive for buying C-MAX Energi to a program in Ferndale, Mich., where drivers of hybrids that get 30 mpg or better in city driving are allowed to park for free at city parking meters. Other states offering lane driving privileges for hybrid vehicle owners include Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Access to HOV lanes is more important than ever as commuters spend more time on the roads. A recent study from New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management shows today's commuters are on the road longer than ever before, and the number of people who commute more than 90 miles to work has doubled over the past 10 years.

"More and more organizations seem to be recognizing the potential positive impact of having electrified vehicles account for as much of that drive time as possible," said Curt Skaluba, general manager of Ford's east market area, parts, service and sales operation.

C-MAX Energi is able to drive up to 21 miles in all-electric range – more than triple Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid's six-mile all-electric range.

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