BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate has passed legislation to encourage the development, purchase, and use of hybrid and alternative vehicles in Massachusetts, creating a broad variety of incentives to promote the purchase of hybrid vehicles over the next three years, according to the Harwich Oracle. Additionally, it provides funding and infrastructure to encourage the development of alternative-fuel technology within the commonwealth. The Senate voted to allow hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles to be exempt from a percentage of the state sales tax. Under the legislation, new hybrid and alternative vehicles would be exempt from application fees for Fast Lane transponders and would be issued an “Energy Independence Placecard” to allow them to use the HOV lane. Additionally, hybrid-electric vehicles would be exempt from the commonwealth’s mandated emission tests.