Following the announcement earlier this month that the 2012 Ford Focus Electric is now America’s most fuel-efficient 5-passenger car, Ford has announced that buyers in California are now eligible for an extra $2,500 state tax credit. As gas prices get closer and closer to $5 a gallon, this extra savings could help boost sales of the car in the Golden State at a time when EVs need it most. The $2,500 would be in addition to the original $7,500 federal tax credit, giving the Focus Electric a total $10,000 in tax credits. The Focus Electric has a starting price of $39,200.

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Ford has also announced that the Focus Electric drivers can also drive in California’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV), which is great news as traffic congestion continues to worsen in California. According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report, Los Angeles and the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area rank No. 3 and 7, respectively, for the worst congestion in the U.S.

“Californians have a legacy of embracing electric vehicles, and programs like the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program provide an excellent incentive for the continued wider adoption of electric vehicles,” said John Viera, global director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters.

General Motors also recently announced that the 2012 Chevy Volt is eligible for HOV lane access in California.

+ Ford