Only 3,770 Green High Occupancy Vehicle Stickers Left In California

7 months ago by Jay Cole 36

The Chevrolet Volt Became HOV Eligible Part Way Through Model Year 2012

The Chevrolet Volt Became HOV Eligible Part Way Through Model Year 2012

Well that was fast.

It's Good To Be White

It’s Good To Be White

A quick check of California Environmental Protection Agency’s (CARB) eligible vehicle list for HOV lane access shows that 36,230 “green” stickers have now been scooped up through March 12th, 2014.

Update (March 21st, 2014): Just 3,263 stickers remain.

In total, 40,000 of the stickers were allotted for those vehicles that qualify as a partial zero emission vehicle – like the Chevrolet Volt.  With  only 3,770 stickers remaining, it will only be a matter of weeks before they have all been given out.

There had previously been some attention given to the fact that the upcoming extended range BMW i3 (REx) would not qualify for the white sticker (see details below) as a BEVx, but rather this “green” sticker instead.

However, with this surge in applications (more than 12,000 in past 4 months and 8,000 since the start of the year) the green sticker matters little - as they will all be claimed before the BMW hits US soil in two months.

CARB's "Green" Sticker Explained

CARB’s “Green” Sticker Explained

As before, those vehicles that qualify for HOV access via being fully electric -or ILEVs if you will, such as the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, all-electric BMW i3; and yes, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, need not worry – as those “white” stickers are still unlimited.

CARB's "White" Sticker Explained

CARB’s “White” Sticker Explained

Hat tip to Tom at the BMW i3 Facebook Group

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36 responses to "Only 3,770 Green High Occupancy Vehicle Stickers Left In California"

  1. David Murray says:

    I wonder how this will affect sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles after the green stickers are gone. Many people buy them just for the sticker. I doubt this will affect Nissan or Tesla. But I bet sales of Plug-in Prius will fall drastically in CA.

    1. Spec9 says:

      I certainly hope sales of the PiP drop like crazy. There are much better plug-ins available.

  2. Let’s see what happens when they run out. I expect a mad dash for the final 3,700 now giving sales of Volts, PIP’s and the PHEV Ford offerings a boost in CA this month.

    I still think there is a good chance CA will extend the program. You can bet Toyota, GM, Ford, BMW and perhaps even Honda have been lobbying for it.

  3. vdiv says:

    Yes, I agree, California needs more sticker colors…

    Repeating the obvious here, it is time that manufacturers offer higher range EVs and make range extenders truly optional.

    Saw a VW Passat “clean” diesel ad bragging about a 700+ mile range. Ok, ok if your commute is that long you definitely need to move, but people will see this and ask about EVs having that.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      “Yes, I agree, California needs more sticker colors…”

      Yeh let’s not discriminate.

      1. Foo says:

        And each color of sticker should involve completely unnecessary differences in the sizing, number, and placement requirements… guaranteeing that nobody will apply them correctly.

        Oh wait… we already have that situation with only the two colors. (Three white stickers in two sizes placed on back only, four green stickers in two sizes placed on both back and front.)

  4. GeorgeS says:

    How on earth does a CNG vehicle get a white sticker.

    BTW Jay Cole: Good pun on the “It’s good to be white” comment

    1. Spec9 says:

      Louis CK agrees. :-)

    2. Nick says:

      It’s inherently low(er) emissions then a gasoline powered vehicle.

      Sadly, natural gas leaks actually make them worse for the climate then gasoline. :-/

  5. Evil Attorney says:

    I think this will have a very noticeable effect on sales of Volts, PiPs, and REX i3, since, at least here in SoCal, the green sticker is such a huge benefit (LA traffic really is insane). I really can’t overstate the value/importance of these stickers to people. They can easily cut your commute in half or even less. I know of several people that purchased Volts and PiPs just for the stickers, even though they could not charge at their home (e.g., apartment/condo).

  6. Scott Franco says:

    White stickers rule….

    Of course the best thing that could happen is that EVs phase out the HOV lanes entirely. With the “reduce pollution” RATionale gone, it would be good to get the government back out of our lives. If people want to sit in traffic drinking lattes, let them.

    1. io says:

      As long as I need to breath (and drink, and eat), I will consider it very much part of the government’s job to make sure that the air (and water, and food) I need remains reasonably clean and safe for me and everyone else I hold dear.

      Just like your freedom to move your fist around stops where my nose starts, your freedom to burn stuff stops when the impact on my own well-being becomes tangible. And when the polluting parties are as powerful as large corporations, I as an individual wouldn’t have much recourse to protect myself if it wasn’t for the supposedly-democratically-elected government enforcing the rules.

      If you feel that common-sense policies, like encouraging zero-emission vehicles through cheap and easy measures such as temporary HOV access, are too much interference with your life, I suggest you consider how well different approaches are working, e.g. in Beijing or Bangalore (although it’s bound to change there too).

      Even though I might not agree with each specific step the CARB takes, I certainly applaud the overall job it has been doing over the years, cleaning up areas like Los Angeles for example.

  7. KenZ says:

    While I do think that an extension (meaning maybe another 10-15k stickers added to the total) is a good idea, this reminds me of way back when the Prius was getting stickers.

    I had a meeting with a Silicon Valley engineer who worked for Ford (they have some sort of advanced research team out here). He stated with absolute confidence the following: “The only reason the Prius sells is because of the commuter lane stickers. Once those run out, sales will plummet. The Prius is a non-starter as a real vehicle.”

    I kid you not. Considering, post-sticker days, the Prius is now one of the highest selling models in all of California, he was, um, completely self deluded. Or company mantra deluded.

    I easily see the Volt and friends doing the same trend. BUT, I think it is important to push them a bit more/for a bit longer, so I’d say another 10k stickers would be nice to get more of them out there, more evangelists, before cutting the apron strings.

  8. Bloggin says:

    Based on the change coming to the CARB Program for 2015, California is mandating a substantial increase in plug-in hybrids than ever before.

    So California won’t be doing anything to limit the incentive for consumers to buy one.

    But what this ‘shortage’ fear will do is boost plug-in hybrid sales for the month. Which is what CA and the automakers want.

    1. David Murray says:

      Plus there will probably be a mad dash for Leafs in GA since they are cutting the incentive there too..

  9. ClarksonCote says:

    So does the BMW i3 qualify for the white stickers or not? It’s still unclear to me.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yes it does.

      The issue was around the BMW i3 REx, which it was though might also qualify for the white stickers under the BEVx designation. Ended up it did not…rather it falls in the “green” sticker TZEV category.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Ah, thanks Jay. The BMW i3 Rex version is what I meant to refer to. There was all the talk that they may not qualify but I missed the definitive ‘no’ :)

        Thanks for clarifying!

      2. Spec9 says:

        And before the i3 gets here, there will be no green sticker left for it.

  10. Model S says:

    red volt is amazing

  11. Model S says:

    stupid sticker placement though. i laugh when people place them on the body panels and uneven as well.

    you put them on the plastic

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      For the Volt, it should be the case…

      For other PHEV, they don’t have the black plastic piece to put on…. LOL…

    2. James Bush says:

      Your wrong!

      If you place the HOV stickers on the black plastic the sticker will eventually peal off!

  12. Spec9 says:

    Awww crap. I’m not going to be able to get one. Oh well, I guess I gotta go pure electric again then. :-)

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Or for most other people, they will be, “oh darn” I guess I will just buy another “gas guzzler” car…

  13. Spec9 says:

    The i3 with Rex, the Mitsubishi Outlander, the VW plug-in hybrid Golf will all ship too late to be able to get any stickers. Well, you snooze, you lose.

    I’m happy that the the Prius Plug-In will no longer qualify . . . that never should have qualified because it burned gas when travelling at freeway speeds.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Prius Plugin was the cheapest Green sticker qualifying vehicle.

      Most of the Pip buyers have stickers…

      The used car with that sticker will go up in price signficantly.

  14. ModernMarvelFan says:

    That is a little more than 1 months of sales in CA for those cars…

    Well, March and April sales number will be interesting…

    Some of the SF Bay Area billboards advertising HOV stickers would have to be repainted…

  15. Vin says:

    FYI, Many dealers are now ordering the stickers as soon as they know the VIN of the cars coming to them. I heard they have to order in batches of 10 or more. Rydell Chevy and Carson Toyota are two in LA County that do this.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      You can’t order the HOV stickers until you have your tags…

      If dealer wants to help with that, they need to get tags on the car…

  16. Jeff U'Ren says:

    You now have to have you licenses plate number to get the stickers!

  17. Puking says:

    I just received my stickers, number 388xx. So there are less than 1,200 stickers left. 2,600 consumed within the past 2 weeks.

    The Prius Plug In is useless without the HOV sticker. I’m so happy that I got mine.

  18. jim says:

    Got green stickers today April 11th # 39865 just under wire. Whew

  19. boe says:

    So the question is – will there be another program or is this it? It would suck to get one that meets the current green requirement only to find out that you missed it by 1 person.

  20. EdyJun says:

    I am about to purchase the Prius PIP. The dealership is telling me that the application is available. However they do not have the HOV stickers. I am worries that all of the stickers are gone. Can anyone confirm that there are HOV stickers left for the PIP?

  21. Jason says:

    I am wondering the same thing, I don’t want to purchase the Prius unless I can still get the stickers with it..