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Green Cars in California Get Extended Privileged Access to HOV Lane


california hov laneIn California, green car buyers have an advantage over the others: they can travel in the carpool (HOV) lane, by law, in a green car that has only one occupant. That law was about to expire on Jan. 1, 2015, but it seems that it’s going to be extended 10 more years.

This is just like one of those perks parents give to their kids if they do their homework correctly or if they get an A. California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield proposed a new bill called AB 266 that would extend these rights (represented by a white, green or yellow sticker) throughout the entire life of the car (which I think it’s right).

Many people, not long ago, used to buy Priuses just for having access to the HOV lane, and these cars cost about $1,500 more if they had the yellow sticker.

Full-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, those powered by CNG (clean natural gas) or low-volume cars, along with hybrids will receive a white, respectively a green sticker.

There’s a catch, though: green stickers are limited to 40,000 and so far 31,000 white and green have been issued, according to Blumenfeld’s office, quoted by Greencarreports.

This initiative is nice and I totally agree with green cars having some extra rights over gas-guzzlers. The only issue that arises is a social one: the hatred of the others towards greener drivers, leading to acts of vandalism on Priuses and other expensive electric toys (you probably heard about such cases).

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  1. This article presumed a lot that it shouldn’t have, and I think it could use a new title at this point.
    AB266 is dying in committee. Think about it. Most of the 40,000 HOV stickers have been used up. Why grandfather those cars into HOV lane access for the next 10 years. What in the world would that do to promote the sales of new Electric/CNG cars? Nada.
    All it would do is hike the value of the existing 40,000 fleet of cars to insane levels. People would be paying thousands in premiums for old Volts with gazillions of miles on them.
    In the end, HOV lane access should be up for sale to green car buyers at a market-rate premium. That way you would have an incentive for buying a green car, but it would be open to all to add-on to their registration cost annually.


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