California extends HOV lane access for electric cars and plug-in hybrids to 2019

Tesla white sticker HOV lane California
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

Stickers to be valid for an extra 3 years

California's state legislature has approved a bill that would extend HOV/carpool lane green stickers for plug-in hybrids and white stickers for electric cars for 3 years. That means that instead of being valid only until 2016, they will be good until 2019. The change isn't as ambitious as the 10-year extension proposed in Bill AB266, but it should definitely help push some fence-sitters over and get plug-in vehicles to take advantage of this very nice perk.

"California has always been leading the way when it comes to lowering our carbon footprint," said Assm. Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica). "These standards will entice Californians to utilize the most environmentally friendly vehicles."

So far, 16,000 green stickers have been issued. This compares to about 85,000 yellow stickers for hybrids at the time the program was discontinued in 2011.

Unfortunately, it looks like regular carpooling is losing popularity in the US:

Carpool graphUSCB/Public Domain

That's really too bad because it's a great way to get vehicles off the road and effectively double, triple, or quadruple (depending on how many extra passengers are on board) the per-passenger efficiency of a vehicle. Of course, if possible, we encourage you to walk, bike, or take transit. But if you have to drive to work, setting up a carpool is a great idea!


See also: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrids gets official EPA fuel economy rating (50 MPG city!)

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