California Senate Clears Path for Additional 15,000 Green HOV Stickers

2 months ago by George Betak 18

Green HOV Sticker - Image Courtesy of Jackson Kuo

Green HOV Sticker – Image Courtesy of Jackson Kuo

California Expected To Up Green Sticker Amount

California Expected To Up Green Sticker Amount

Some good news awaits plug-in hybrid owners and prospective owners in California: the Senate has approved assembly bill AB-2013 with a 25-6 vote on Tuesday.

This bill was introduced by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi from Southern California earlier this year. It passed the Assembly with a 63-4 vote on May 1, and was ordered to the Senate, where it was reviewed and amended by the Transportation and Housing Committee. The California State Assembly has to yet vote on the amendments, but assuming that the bill passes, and Gov. Brown will sign it into law, the total cap for green HOV decals should be increased to 70,000 before the current allocation runs out.

The approval of AB-2013 could not come soon enough. Between July 1 and August 19 alone, the California DMV has issued 10,769 green stickers. The demand for the decals has risen exponentially since January 1, 2012, when the program was first initiated. The DMV issued less than 10,000 stickers in 2012, and about 20,000 stickers in 2013. If the current demand is any indication, and AB-2013 becomes law, more than 40,000 stickers will be issued in 2014.

While the ever-increasing demand for green HOV decals is a clear sign of the success of the program, and the mass adoption of plug-in hybrids in the marketplace, questions about the effectiveness of some of the qualification criteria remain. The decals are currently scheduled to expire on January 1, 2019. While it’s very doubtful that we will see another increase in green sticker allocation in the future, current owners can expect more than fours years of an incredible driving privilege on California freeways.

If you are a California resident, and are considering the purchase of a plug-in hybrid vehicle, now is the time to act. The current allocation of HOV decals will run out in about a month, and should AB-2013 become law, the additional 15,000 stickers will likely only last through the end of the year.

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18 responses to "California Senate Clears Path for Additional 15,000 Green HOV Stickers"

  1. scott franco says:

    noooooooooo

    keep the stinky car out of my lane!

    Kidding kidding.

  2. Spec9 says:

    I think they should issue some more Green stickers but they need to up the requirement. At least 20 miles of all electric range and you must be able to drive 65 on electricity alone.

    1. George Betak says:

      Yes, I agree with you that the qualification criteria might have been set too low, and did not provide yet another incentive for OEMs to build plug-in hybrids with longer EV range.

      1. Ml says:

        Easily should be 150 miles or no access. Currently just promotes zero incentive for auto companies to go away from big oil. And I’m guessing 90% of the volt hybrids are driving on gasoline if they are on the highway traveling somewhere. But than again, all that money given to state reps for voting I favor of big oil and the poorly lacking r&d at auto companies.

  3. GRA says:

    I agree with the above, but I think it’s also important to make peopel choose between the state rebate and the HOV sticker, to save money for the CVRP. Anyone who can afford to buy or lease one of these cars makes enough hourly that the HOV sticker is worth far more to them than the rebate, if they commute in HOV lane areas.

  4. Mike I says:

    There has been some discussion about sightings of cars with fraudulent stickers applied. For example, a first generation Highlander Hybrid with photocopied white stickers, a Prius C with Green stickers of unknown quality, a first generation Focus with white stickers, etc. Clearly, none of these vehicles qualify but the drivers think they will get away with something. Of course, there is always the solo cheaters in the HOV lane too.

    1. Ellison says:

      Wow. Let’s get license pics and turn in these vehicles wherever we see them. Thanks for keeping an eye out.

    2. Scott Franco says:

      The CHP enjoys picking off diamond lane cheaters in Silicon Valley. Its an expensive ticket and all the motocop has to do is sit on the left side and issue ticket after ticket.

      I imagine if they managed to find a counterfeit sticker you would be in for extra special treatment.

    3. Evil Attorney says:

      Yes, I saw a regular, non-plugin Prius with either fake or stolen green stickers in the HOV lane. I wonder if the cops are savvy enough to notice that such a car shouldn’t have those stickers.

  5. EV says:

    i have hov stickers and there is no hov lane anywhere near where i drive

    1. George Betak says:

      That’s a shame, obviously, but I would consider applying for the green stickers anyway. Much like with the earlier generation of traditional hybrids, the yellow HOV sticker would increase the resale value of the vehicle, particularly after the decals ran out, and the DMV stopped issuing them.

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    The rush to buy Prius Plugin will happen again. Watch the PIP sales spike…

  7. Ellison says:

    I feel we need more white stickers. Cars like the plug in Prius need gasoline on the freeway and others have such incredibly small batteries they seem to be abusing the loophole.

    1. Fusion2014 says:

      Why do we always just refer back to the classics that have not kept passe with cars like the Ford Fusion Energi?
      I am $30 deep in gas on 2k in milage.
      Sure stop the rebates to make people buy the under public supported charging stations, and divert that cash to put 30-50 charging stations in all public parking spaces with a 1k spots or more.
      Was at SFO the other day. The Volt people seem to have started an un-charging club, just so they can park next to the elevator or any EV parking. Just another reason to speed past them at 70 MPH on EV mode.

  8. Ellison says:

    Also, has anyone seen trucks with fake HOV stickers as comedy? They something like electric cars are for Wussies. Seen in the Bay Area.

  9. Thanh Lim says:

    I agree. It’s pretty lame that the Prius, that goes, at most, 11 miles on electric gets a green sticker.

    Make it go 40 minimum to qualify. Seriously.

    1. Ml says:

      150 should be minimum. And zero gas in the car.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      The Plug-in Prius does not run 11 miles on electricity, only 6. Look at the EPA sticker: the 11 miles is using gas, too. None of the Prius deserve the HOV sticker because all use gas!

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