Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is backing a proposal to open special freeway lanes reserved for car-poolers to hybrid owners driving alone, according to the Associated Press. Pawlenty asked Minnesota's 10-member congressional delegation to seek the high-occupancy lane clearance as part of a transportation bill under consideration in Washington. "It's a win, win, win -- from a traffic standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, from an energy policy standpoint," Pawlenty said at a local Ford dealership. "It has numerous positive attributes to it." The hybrid gas and electric vehicles produce lower emissions than traditional gas-powered cars and trucks and are more fuel efficient. Even though hybrid cars are rolling off lots as fast as they're made, Pawlenty said more people might be inclined to seek them out if they are offered traffic-easing incentives. Minnesota has a few high-occupancy lanes on the Twin Cities-area interstates and freeways. In the meantime, the governor said he will try to increase the purchase of hybrids for the state fleet. The state pollution control agency and the Departments of Commerce, Transportation and Natural Resources are among the government offices that now use them.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials