CA Bill Would Extend Carpool Lane Access Perk For 10 Years

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Tesla Roadster with CA Clean Air Vehicle sticker  --  flickr user jurvetson

Tesla Roadster with CA Clean Air Vehicle sticker -- flickr user jurvetson

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It's one of the most valued perks for plug-in electric car buyers in California: the coveted green or white sticker that lets them travel in the carpool lane with just a single person in the car.

But under current law, those stickers expire on January 1, 2015--just as the yellow stickers for hybrids expired (after an extension) on July 1, 2011.

On Friday, California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield introduced a bill, AB 266, to extend those privileges 10 more years, through January 1, 2025.

That would give buyers of various plug-in cars the confidence that their vehicle would retain the privilege for more than 22 months, conceivably throughout their term of ownership.

The change of date is the sole alteration proposed by Blumenfield's bill to the program, which otherwise remains as it is today.

Under the current program, "white" stickers are given to zero-emission vehicles that include all battery electric vehicles as well as natural-gas and hydrogen powered vehicles, while "green" stickers are given to plug-in hybrids and range-extended electric cars that have both battery propulsion and a gasoline engine.

Cars eligible for white stickers include the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, the Honda Civic GX and Natural Gas models, and a variety of low-volume compliance cars.

Cars eligible for green stickers include some 2012 and all 2013 Chevrolet Volts sold in the state, the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, the Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, and others to come.

Green HOV-Lane Sticker

Green HOV-Lane Sticker

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The California DMV maintains a full list of vehicles eligible for green and white stickers on its websites.

So far, according to the assemblyman's office, about 31,000 white and green stickers have been issued. About 9,000 of those are green stickers, which are capped at 40,000. There is no maximum on the issuance of white stickers.

Blumenfield's bill may be heard in committee roughly a month from now, in early March.


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Comments (7)
  1. They should change the requirement of the Green sticker to something more strict so automakers don't "game" the rules. Like more EV miles than its gas miles, minimum EV speed and minimum battery size....etc

  2. More years the better for the white sticker bevs but the rest should be much less then ten years and/or revamp criteria.
    1) Natural gas vehicles pollute less then gas but its still fossil fuel n seem never to be more then a niche for consumer vehicles. It should've never got the white sticker in the first place. Let cng die in 2015 or maybe two more years.
    2) Xi started with some good thinking about plug-in hybrids. How 'bout simple minimums for green sticker of: 50 mile EV range, 100 mpge, and 50mpg starting in 2020. The next redesigns of the Volt n pip might hit those numbers by 2015.

    Perhaps the assemblymen is asking for ten years knowing that the applicable committees of the CA assembly will knock that number down some.

  3. I am afraid that they are going to run out of 40,000 green sticker before they "decide" on what is the new requirement...

  4. Anything that drives awareness of green vehicles, and uses excess capacity in carpool lanes is fundamentally good. The best scenario is when people are carpooling in their electric cars.

  5. Actually if CA truly want to spread the use of EVs, then it needs to start requiring all employer to offer EV charging spots at work.

    I know at least 3 people at work who doesn't have EVs but wanted to buy EV b/c they need about 100 miles range minimum (with weather, speed and real world battery degradation included). They don't want to buy a BEV b/c they are afraid of NOT getting a charge at work...

  6. Thank you for your article. I have a LEAF but am thinking about getting a Volt (range issues for weekend trips). Do you know if the green stickers are still avaialble (or who I could call to find out?) Many thanks!

  7. I think the white stickers should be left for 10 years, but half-gassers should stick to a 5 year plan. They also need to speed up the system and put it as an online form. Why anyone in their right mind should have to wait up to 4 months for a walk-in problem is beyond me. Isn't California the tech hub of our nation?

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