• I-95/395 reversible HOV lanes, located in the middle of the freeway (pic by Mariordo at Wikimedia)

    For years, green-car buyers in California have enjoyed a special perk: access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes that can whiz past gridlock, even with just a single occupant. Now, updates to the rules signed into law in October by Governor Jerry Brown will likely change the way owners and shoppers view the coveted carpool-lane stickers and how they seek to retain the coveted privilege. In less than a decade, officials in California want to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on the road by five-fold, to 1.5 million by the end of 2025, according to a January report by local station...

  • 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
    How to pay most of a million bucks to use the carpool lane in Florida

    Some people will do anything to avoid a little traffic. Like many other states, Florida offers drivers of greener cars solo access to its high-occupancy vehicle lanes, also known as carpool lanes. That privilege is extended to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric cars. DON'T MISS: Porsche...

  • Green HOV-Lane Sticker
    CA plug-in carpool-lane access bill up for vote; here's why some oppose it

    Several months ago, the allocated supply of "green stickers" that give buyers of new plug-in hybrid cars access to California carpool lanes expired. So you think that a pending bill in the California state legislature to expand that supply would get the support of plug-in electric car advocates...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
    2017 Chevy Bolt EV sales could go as high as 80,000, says analyst

    The question of how many electric cars can be sold in a single year remains a topic of hot debate as the U.S. market awaits the launch of the 200-mile Chevy Bolt EV at the end of this year. The world's best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, had its highest-sales year in the U.S. in 2014, when...

  • Green HOV-Lane Sticker
    No More California Carpool-Lane Stickers For Plug-In Hybrids

    There are no more California HOV-lane "green stickers" for plug-in hybrids.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Volt
    Carpool-Lane Access: Very Important For Electric-Car Adoption, It Turns Out

    A new study claims carpool-lane access significantly boosts electric-car sales in California.

  • 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production model

    All good things must come to an end, and so it is with the green stickers that give plug-in hybrid drivers access to California's freeway carpool lanes with just one person in the car. A total of 70,000 stickers were allotted, and the supply is now almost exhausted. A bill to allocate 15,000 more stickers is pending in the California legislature, but even if it passes, those too will be snapped up in due course. DON'T MISS: California Extends Electric-Car HOV Lane Access To 2019 (Sep 2013) As of May 11, the California Air Resources Board notes that the state's DMV had issued 66,255 green...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt on display at Disney World Test Track exhibit  [photo tweeted by 'Schmoofy']
    2016 Chevy Volt To Get California Carpool Lane Access

    Access to the carpool lane in California with only a single occupant has proven to be one of the more effective incentives to get the state's drivers to buy electric cars. The first year and a half of Chevy Volt range-extended electric cars didn't qualify, but Volt sales in California surged once...

  • Kim Price, first buyer of 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, and sales associate Steven Hall
    First 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Sold Last Month

    Last month, 41 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive hatchbacks were delivered to their owners, marking the first month of sales for the first battery-electric vehicle from the German luxury maker. The official first buyer, Kim Price, lives south of Los Angeles in Mission Viego; she's been a...

  • Carpooling
    Highway Spending Bill To Bar Hybrids From Carpool-Lane Incentives?

    Incentives to get drivers to buy highly fuel-efficient cars have taken many forms, one of the most popular being single-occupant access to carpool lanes on crowded freeways. Hybrid-electric vehicles were some of the first beneficiaries of these policies, but now they're being elbowed aside by...

  • 2014 Nissan Leaf
    Does Nissan Leaf Supplant The Prius As Loathing Target For CA Drivers?

    If you've never lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may not have heard of "Mr. Roadshow," the nickname of San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Richards. Nor will you know how important his columns are, covering traffic, congestion, freeways, law enforcement, cars, and all the other topics...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production model
    CA Electric-Car Incentive Update: Funds Run Out, Green Stickers Gone

    Access to carpool lanes on California's legendarily crowded freeways is a big perk. So is getting a check in the mail that cuts the purchase cost. These incentives were successful in spurring sales of hybrids years ago, and they've helped sales of modern battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars...

  • California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Driver Survey Results - CA Ctr for Sustainable Energy, Mar 2013

    Within two or three months, there will be more than 200,000 plug-in electric cars on U.S. roads--and we're learning more about who buys them, and why. California's Center for Sustainable Energy released a new report this month that depicts the owners of different models having different reasons for their purchases. MORE: Green Car People: Who Buys Electric And Plug-In Vehicles? As neatly summarized in the Center's press release last week, the differences can be broken down partly by the type of vehicle. Those span battery-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, range-extended electrics like...

  • Green HOV-Lane Sticker
    CA Carpool-Lane Stickers For Plug-In Hybrids Run Out By May--Or Sooner

    One of the major incentives for buying a plug-in electric car in California is the coveted sticker allowing single-occupant travel in the carpool lanes on the state's crowded freeways. Now, the supply of stickers for plug-in hybrids that can travel on battery power alone but also have an engine as...

  • 2014 BMW i3 hits the race track
    2014 BMW i3 Gets CA Carpool-Lane Access: Battery Only, So Far

    As expected, the 2014 BMW i3 electric car has been awarded its "white sticker," the coveted permission to drive in High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes with only one occupant on California's crowded freeways. The range-extended version of the i3, however, has not yet appeared on the list--and there remains...

  • Green HOV-Lane Sticker
    California Extends Electric-Car HOV Lane Access To 2019

    The California Legislature has voted to allow drivers of plug-in cars to cruise the state's High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes solo for another six years.

  • Carpool ad, 1940s: U.S. Office for Emergency Management, War Production Board
    CA: Electric Cars Get Carpool-Lane Access Til 2020, Plug-In Hybrids Til 2018?

    Owners of electric cars and plug-in hybrids enjoy plenty of benefits: tax breaks, lower fuel costs, and the satisfaction that comes from driving a low- or zero-emission vehicle, to name a few. In California, owners also enjoy easier commutes: they can apply for special stickers that allow them to...

  • 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid
    CA Drivers Want Carpool-Lane Access, Honda Gives It To Them (But There's A Catch)

    Say "carpool lane" or "HOV Access" or "white sticker" or "green sticker," and most California commuters will begin to drool uncontrollably. The ability to drive in relatively uncrowded High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with just a single person in the vehicle is a privilege that Californians will...

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

    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...

  • 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid
    2013 Ford C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi Join California HOV Lane

    Californians wanting to gain single-occupancy access to the state’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes now have twice as many eligible cars to choose from when buying their next vehicle. Yesterday, Ford announced that its 2013 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid has met the standards set out by the...

  • Traffic
    Virginia’s Hybrid HOV Lane Perks: Anything But Easy

    For years, we’ve covered California’s High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane access perks for drivers of ultra-low or zero-emissions cars. Reasonably simple to understand, with a few exceptions, California’s HOV lane rules allows drivers of qualifying vehicles fitted with official HOV...

  • Green HOV-Lane Sticker
    Want To Drive Your Green Car In CA HOV Lanes? Here’s How

    If you live in California, you’ll know that buying a green car can come with impressive perks, including purchase rebates of up to $2,500 and access to the state's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. But you can't just start driving in the HOV lanes if you own a qualifying electric, hydrogen...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production model
    2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In To Join Chevy Volt In CA HOV Lanes

    California's high-occupancy vehicle lanes, which emptied out last July as 85,000 hybrids lost their access, are about to start admitting more cars. This week, Chevy dealers in California are receiving their first 2012 Chevrolet Volts fitted with the right emissions gear to give drivers access to...

  • 2012 Chevrolet Volt
    HOV-Lane Eligible Chevy Volts On Sale In California Next Week

    Earlier today,General Motors confirmed that it has restarted production of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt at its Detroit Hamtramck facility. In addition, the automaker has confirmed that it is now producing Californian-market Volts, complete with a low emissions package that enables them to qualify for...

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