Parking and HOV Lanes: The Secret Perks of EV Ownership

Social benefits: electric vehicles produce few or no emissions

The benefits of owning an electric vehicle are worth celebrating: electric vehicles are better for the environment, require less maintenance, and you get plenty of tax breaks. But there are other benefits you may not know about: owning an electric vehicle also means you’ll get a more VIP experience when you slide into a parking spot.

You often manage to park very close

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Have you ever noticed that when you arrive at certain stores, businesses or hotels, there are some free electric vehicle charging stations near the entrance? These parking spaces are marked for electric vehicle parking only and sometimes have a charging time limit of one hour, although some allow overnight access.

Businesses that include these locations are paying for the privilege of hosting these charging stations, but they know that it also draws EV owners to their store, so the cost is worth it to them.

Since the charging equipment requires a lot of electricity, it is close to a barrier-free access corridor and the EV. You won’t always need to charge your vehicle, but it’s a useful option when the battery is a bit low and it’s a nice bonus as these places are very close to buildings.

Explanation of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 charges

Another parking benefit? According to the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, many cities offer free or discounted parking for electric vehicles at municipal garage charging stations. This benefit can save you a lot, as all-day parking fees can be expensive at covered places like city garages.

The next time you head out in your electric vehicle, keep an eye out for a free charging station and consider it a green win for the day.

Recharging your electric vehicle away from home: everything you need to know

You can get HOV access, even if it’s just you

HOV lane sign on a highway

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Gliding down the HOV lane is a bit like getting a FastPass+ at Disney World. It’s challenging, fun, and can feel a bit superior to drivers hanging out in the non-HOV lane next to you.

HOV tickets are a great benefit for electric vehicle drivers, even those without passengers. These lanes are typically packed with carpools and rideshare riders, but EVs can drive alone in these lanes in a handful of states, including California, Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, and more. Each state’s HOV incentives are a little different, so check your state’s website for more details.

Take a look at the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s list of states and provinces that allow electric vehicles in the HOV lane or offer high-occupancy toll (HOT) incentives for electric vehicles.

Many states grant HOVs access to EVs through a special decal or license plate to indicate that the vehicle can operate in the high occupancy lane. These benefits have been a huge incentive for people to buy electric vehicles, especially in densely populated areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Access to the carpool lane is the “biggest incentive” to buy electric vehicles for Californians who live within 10 miles of a lane, according to a UCLA study of electric VMO adoption rates.

The ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half is another benefit. Research has shown that providing access to HOV lanes for electric vehicles can drive electric vehicle adoption in other regions and could reduce emissions in the United States.

Models eligible for HOV lane programs vary by state, so be sure to check with your home state’s transportation website for requirements in your area.

It should also be noted that state HOV lane programs are continually evolving as the number of eligible vehicle registrations increases. States that have pioneered the use of HOV lane exemptions for electric vehicles, such as Arizona, California, and Virginia, have found the programs to be so successful that they have reached their expected maximum HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) quota much sooner. than expected.

Be sure to research HOV access as you research electric vehicles.

Eligibility for electric vehicles, IDs, permits and other benefits

Electric vehicle registration

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Once you’ve checked to see if your state offers HOV lane access for your electric vehicle, there’s a little more to find out.

Some programs may have a limit on participants, so it makes sense to apply early to get your benefits.


According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, the method for identifying eligible vehicles varies from state to state. Some locations use special plates or decals that limit eligibility to state-registered vehicles.

Also, fees for decals and plates differ and may include annual or one-time fees. Some states, like North Carolina and New Jersey, don’t require identification for eligible vehicles, which means qualified out-of-state electric vehicles can also use high-occupancy lanes. In the Garden State, by comparison, qualified drivers must register their HOT transponders to receive a 10% toll reduction.


Another thing to consider is permissions. Special permits for electric vehicles stay with the vehicle, not the driver. If you sell your EV, the license stays with it.

If you’re buying a used electric vehicle, be sure to ask the current owner for any permits that need to remain with the vehicle.

Other benefits for electric vehicle owners

You can feel good about driving an electric vehicle for countless reasons. HOV lane access is top of the list for those with unpleasant commutes or who live in cities with the worst traffic, but there are tax rebates and state incentives that can significantly lower prices. buy, for example.

Repair and maintenance costs are also lower, and the fuel savings far outweigh the associated electricity costs.

The benefits of driving an electric vehicle seem almost limitless. But arriving at your destination without planet-destroying emissions could be one of the best moments of all.

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