CA Close To Extending Green HOV-Lane Sticker Program As AB-2013 Passed to Senate

California’s Green HOV-Lane Access Decal program for plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric cars — the same one which exhausted its quota of 40,000 applicants last month — is just weeks away from being awarded an additional 45,000 decals by the California state.

A bill to increase the number of Green HOV-lane access decals in California has just passed the Assembly and is making its way through the Senate.

A bill to increase the number of Green HOV-lane access decals in California has just passed the Assembly and is making its way through the Senate.

The program allows qualifying plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric cars to drive in California’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes with just the driver on board, provided the car wears a Green HOV-lane access sticker. In order to gain a coveted Green HOV-lane sticker, owners must apply to the California DMV with proof of ownership of a qualifying vehicle.  But unlike the White HOV-lane access program — which gives similar perks to an unlimited number of qualifying zero and ultra-low emissions vehicles, the Green HOV-lane access program has a mandated limit of 40,000 stickers as set by Californian law.

Now, with all of the original 40,000 decals spoken for, Californian legislators are close to passing a bill which would amend the total number of green HOV-lane stickers allowed to 85,000.  What’s more, they’re doing everything they can to pass the bill in record time for the good of all Californians.

Introduced to the Assembly on February 20, Assembly Bill AB-2013 seeks to immediately increase the number of Green HOV lane stickers available to Californian residents from the original 40,000 stickers to 85,000 stickers. Pushed through the Assembly committee for Transportation and Assembly committee for Appropriations in double-quick time, it passed the Californian Assembly Floor on Friday with a vote of 63 Aye to 4 Noes and 12 NVR.

The Chevrolet Volt is one of the many plug-in hybrids and range-extended EVs eligible to wear a Green HOV-lane access decal in California.

The Chevrolet Volt is one of the many plug-in hybrids and range-extended EVs eligible to wear a Green HOV-lane access decal in California.

From here, the bill has already been passed to the Senate, where it was read for the first time on Friday. It is currently awaiting attention by the Senate Committee on Rules, but is expected to be passed and voted into law in the coming few days or weeks.

Until the law is amended and the extra decals created, anyone who has recently purchased a plug-in hybrid or range-extended EV which qualifies for Green HOV-lane access under the program but missed out on the original 40,000 decals will have to avoid the HOV lane if they’re the only person in the car, and brave it with everyone else in the non-HOV lanes.

For them, we’re guessing this law can’t come soon enough.

 [Hat-tip: Tom Moloughney]

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  • It’s better to drive a truly clean, all electric car. But it would probably help air quality and communities to allow some more plug in stickers as we transition to electric and renewable fuel cell vehicles. nnFunny how the old yellow stickers for Priuses are now invalid. Those are the still polluting, just twice the gasoline fuel economy cars. Even the new plug in Prius still runs its gasoline engine at highway speeds. We have to be careful not to allow too much of a loophole here.

  • Joey G

    It’s not a loophole. It’s an incentive to get more people to purchase plug-in hybrids. I have a Volt, and drive it only on electric during my daily commute (40 miles). The few times I use gas is usually when I’m doing long weekend trips with my wife, which is when we’d be in the carpool lane anyway.

  • DL

    Is there an update to this story? I’m not seeing anything online?

  • The main problem seems to be that we are never quite sure of the rate at which these stickers are issued, so it’s a guessing game about when the last one will be issued! I finally figured out this problem … I calculated the rate by looking at earlier versions of the ARB website, and made a graph that projects the date when the current quota of 55,000 stickers will be gone. Per my projection that will happen is early October 2014. You can read about my analysis and see the graph on my blog here: nhttp://www.greenthensolar.com/2014/07/the-question-on-everyones-mind-trying.htmlnHope this helps people buying hybrid-electric cars.