Attention, Shoppers: Infiniti QX56s, Diesels Are NOT Hybrids

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Hybrid Parking fail: VW Passat TDI, Infiniti QX56 surround Ford Escape Hybrid (by Michael Thwaite)

Hybrid Parking fail: VW Passat TDI, Infiniti QX56 surround Ford Escape Hybrid (by Michael Thwaite)

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It will come as a horrible shock to the driver of the pale green Infiniti QX56, but the 2-ton-plus full-size sport utility vehicle is not actually a hybrid.

Nor, for that matter, is a Volkswagen Passat TDI--though it at least has a diesel engine, which gives higher gas mileage than the QX56's dismal 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway.

The misbehavior committed by the drivers of each of these cars was snapped last month by alert reader and electric-car advocate Michael Thwaite.

Both the diesel-engined Passat and the gigantic SUV with a V-8 engine were clearly parked in the "Reserved Parking-Hybrid Vehicles" area of the Adventure Aquarium parking lot in Camden, New Jersey.

Empty hybrid parking space at Ikea, by Flickr user jennmae

Empty hybrid parking space at Ikea, by Flickr user jennmae

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The two offending vehicles bracketed an older Ford Escape Hybrid, which was properly parked.

Hybrid-only parking spaces seem likely to go the way of the manual choke, however.

The new breed of clean-car perks is going to plug-in cars, which run on electricity from the power grid.

Proprietors are adding charging stations to hotels, malls, stores, restaurants, and other establishments.

They see them as a cheap way to keep electric-car drivers captive for an hour or more while their cars recharge on electricity that costs them a few pennies to a dollar or two. Odds are, they'll buy something.

The man who took the photo titled it, "The Hard of Understanding," though we can think of some other labels as well.

But what do you think about hybrid-only parking places?

Give us your thoughts in the Comments below.

[photo courtesy of Michael Thwaite]


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Comments (2)
  1. In Indiana other than the capital we only have regular parking spots haha. I really don't think you should get special treatment due to an engine choice. It really doesn't make any sense to try to make people drive more fuel efficient cars.
    Compact car spots in parking garages really didn't make anyone go out and buy more compacts just for that spot. You don't see clean diesel spots, or CNG spots. The only reason I think these spots should exist is as you said toward the end that a charge station is available. Other than that they shouldn't get a few special spots because they run on grid power instead of hydrocarbon power.

  2. One of the dangers of the hybrid spot is that they're located in the prime parking, right outside the front door. This applies to EV charging too. I'd rather be given good, near to the entrance spots but I don't want to be given the prime spot, why? Well, I think it sends a negative message, it says that non-EV folk are second class, that'll just create friction in both directions; seeing that truck in a hybrid spot just drove me crazy; I'm British, we forged an empire on following the rules... Regardless of right or wrong, often wrong but I digress. Ironically, loosing the hybrid signs would have eliminated my angst!
    The right place for hybrid or EV only spots is in the centre of town where it makes sense to have low and zero emission transport. Then, faced with parking an ev or walking, people may actually re-consider their choice next time they buy.

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