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.
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.
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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