Free employee parking isn’t that unusual a perk for white-collar workers, but for BP’s Alternative Energy employees commuting to downtown Houston, that benefit comes with a catch.
The company pays for parking based on how much greenhouse gas an employee’s vehicle emits, paying the full cost for drivers of vehicles like the Honda Civic Hybrid.
BP calculated these fees using its estimates of the number of tons of greenhouse gas cars put out annually, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data on fuel efficiency, said Bob Lukefahr, president of BP Alternative Energy North America.
Lower-mileage cars prone to emit more carbon dioxide, like a Ford Fusion or a Mazda MX5, earn only a $25 credit for drivers.
Drivers of Chevrolet Impalas that run on Flexfuel E85 or Mercedes Benz E320 Diesels, which BP estimate emit between 6 and 7 tons of greenhouse gases a year, are also reimbursed up to $25.
Drivers of cars such as the Volkswagen Golf Diesel, Pontiac Vibe or Ford Escape Hybrid FWD, which emit 6 tons or less of greenhouse gases a year, get $50 in parking credits.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid, with an estimated 5 tons of emissions, can earn a driver a $75 credit.