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The Porsche 918 Spyder Has HOV Lane Access in Florida Because It's Electric

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2017

I recently attended a car show down in Florida that included a Porsche 918 Spyder. Every car show in Florida includes a Porsche 918 Spyder, because Florida is crawling with exotic cars. I arrived at this show in a purple Porsche 911 GT3RS, and it was the fourth one there. Not the fourth GT3RS, mind you. The fourth purple one.

So I'm checking out the 918 Spyder, and I notice a little decal affixed to the rear bumper next to the license plate. It says "HOV" on the top and "FLORIDA" on the bottom -- and then there's a yellow portion with an expiration decal that looks just like the one you stick on your license plate when you renew your registration each year.

And I thought, HOV? Does the Porsche 918 Spyder have a free pass to Florida HOV lanes?

So I went home, and I looked it up, and I discovered something amazing: The Porsche 918 Spyder has free HOV access because it's a plug-in hybrid car. The Porsche 918 Spyder -- which has a V8 engine, 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque -- has free HOV access because it's a plug-in hybrid car. The Porsche 918 Spyder -- which does zero to 60 in something like 2.5 seconds -- can cruise past people driving Toyota Camrys on the theory that it's friendlier to the environment.

This is no small deal. I saw this vehicle in the Miami area -- which was recently named fifth-worst in the country for traffic by a study that examined congestion. South Florida traffic is so bad that the government has installed a vast network of HOV-only lanes separated by barriers from normal traffic; probably the largest network of such lanes anywhere in the country. And, frankly, traffic in South Florida is so bad that those lanes usually only end up going a little faster than normal lanes.

Part of the reason these lanes don't provide a huge advantage is that Florida doesn't just issue these decals to plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles, like California. Instead, Florida offers HOV access to all hybrid vehicles -- meaning anyone in a Prius can also get into the HOV lane (or, as I now call it, the 918 Spyder lane), and cruise past everyone in a Camry or an Accord sitting in awful, boring, regular traffic on the other side of the barrier.

But that's about to change. According to a 2014 article in Palm Beach's Sun-Sentinel, it appears hybrid cars will likely be forced out of the HOV lanes later this year. However, it's just as likely that plug-in hybrid cars and fully electric vehicles won't lose their access -- which means that, sometime soon, a V8-powered, 887-horsepower, $1.5 million Porsche 918 Spyder will get dedicated HOV lane access in South Florida while a Toyota Prius is relegated to the normal traffic lanes.

I find this absolutely hilarious.

More importantly, I find it hilarious that some 918 owner has actually taken advantage of this benefit. Imagine how truly angered you'd be if you were sitting in heavy traffic after a long day at work, driving your 2004 Prius that has been getting 45 miles per gallon for 13 years, and then some guy drives past going 50 miles per hour in the HOV lane, cruising alone with the top off his $1.5 million supercar. You'd probably become angry, and irate, and the only thing that would stop you from truly going crazy would be one simple thought: Eh, I guess it makes sense. It's Florida.

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The Porsche 918 Spyder Has HOV Lane Access in Florida Because It's Electric - Autotrader