California Ups HOV Green Sticker Program By 15,000 to 55,000 Total

JUN 23 2014 BY JAY COLE 32

We we’re perhaps the only news outlet to predict that this piece of legislation was coming.

California Puts A Little More Speed Behind Topping Up Green Sticker Program

California Puts A Little More Speed Behind Topping Up Green Sticker Program

While an assembly bill (AB2013) which would see the now exhausted 40,000 “green” sticker program expand up to 85,000 total stickers has been slowly meandering its way through the California system, another bill surfaced as a short-term solution to those looking to get a new Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi or Toyota Prius PHV into the HOV lane.

California Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed SB853 – a budget trailer bill, that includes a unexpected addition of more green stickers for PHEV drivers.  And as it is a “trailer bill”, that means it goes into effect almost immediately (July 1).

In total 15,000 more stickers are now today available – although the Air Resources Board website has yet to be updated noting the change.

Here is the verbage on the program changes:

(5) Existing federal law, until September 30, 2017, authorizes a state to allow specified labeled vehicles to use lanes designated for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Existing law authorizes the Department of Transportation to designate certain lanes for the exclusive use of HOVs. Under existing law, until January 1, 2019, or until federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, those lanes may be used by certain vehicles not carrying the requisite number of passengers otherwise required for the use of an HOV lane – if the vehicle displays a valid identifier issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Existing law authorizes the DMV to issue no more than 40,000 of those identifiers.

This bill would increase the number of those identifiers that the DMV is authorized to issue to 55,000.

Hat tip to Walt!

Categories: General


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32 Comments on "California Ups HOV Green Sticker Program By 15,000 to 55,000 Total"

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Awesome news!

So now the carpool lanes here in CA will go even slower.

In silicon valley, a place were such cars are very popular, I estimate there are between 1/8 and 1/4 of the traffic that bears any kind of sticker.

When the lane backs up, it is typically because the other lanes are also backed up (of course), and people trying to exit the lane into stopped traffic. I don’t blame that on them, but rather the folks behind them, who strangely seem unable to pass them on the left (apparently because the yellow marked shoulder has strange and magical powers, despite being fully paved). I expect the express lane separation and limited entry/exit points to help with this, as apparently so does the state of CA, which is why they did it.

Perhaps they will go slower, but stickers aren’t the problem, from what I’ve seen. Lately on the 405 freeway southbound through SFV there seem to be more single ICE drivers than green stickers in the HOV lane.

Agreed. I often see single ICE drivers on the 405 near the West Side and it drives me crazy.

Make HOVs
– 2+ for EVs and
– 3+ for everyone else. 😉

I agree with half of that:

1+ for EVs
3+ for everyone else

Yep, you can thank our worthless, hopeless and clueless legislatures! Lobbying by the dealer and manufacturer special interests groups triumphs over common sense and intelligence once more!

As someone who is studying city planning 85,000 is a ton of cars. It would sort of take away from the idea that car poolers should use the HOV lanes.

The only way they could fix this is include funding to add more car pool lanes to the highways in California.

I think freeways should be HOV, period. Everyone else gets surface streets.

Should be for 100% electric only.

Agreed. At least the Volt can do a reasonable length 1-way commute on electric only, but having cars such as the Prius PHV qualify is a joke. That car gets what, 6 miles on a charge before it goes into hybrid mode? At that point it is the same as every other Prius hybrid that can’t get a sticker.

And now, thousands more plug in Prius will be sold in California.

At least early i3 REx owners will now have a chance to get a sticker. But I’m not sure how I feel about a possible further extension via AB2013 next year.

I know how I feel… It is a terribly misguided idea! At the very least, they should specify a minimum level of performance on all-electric to qualify. Say, 35 miles based on the EPA rating…

But why 35 miles? Why not 20 (Ford Energi) or 70 (i3 REx)? All of these can cover the entire commute for many people.

The only model I would exclude at this point is the Prius Plug-in, since it cannot even drive electrically at highway speeds …

BMW, GM and Toyota must be delighted on their ROI from the CA State Legislature.

Especially Toyota (see “GoBlue88’s comment above).

Bought a Volt 2-1/2 weeks ago. Should I mail in the app now or wait until its announced on the ARB website?

Congrats on getting the Volt! I would go ahead and send it in now. The law should take effect very shortly, and the DMV has famously long processing times.

15,000 Green HOV stickers are likely to last just 4-8 months at current California EV adoption rates.

Given PHEV buyers value HOV twice as important as BEV buyers (who value economic savings at a higher importance) there may be a rush to grab HOV access.

That’s a fair concern, Brian. I think the DMV stopped accepting applications from dealers in an effort to curb demand. Not everyone will want the sticker, but dealers have an incentive to order them for each vehicle, as it increases their resale value.

Given the recent survey, that statement is NOT correct.

Volt owners aren’t overly concerned with HOV stickers.

But that is the case for Energi buyers and Prius Plugin buyers.

The recent survey can be found in CVRP sites.

15,000? Those are going to disappear REALLY fast.

It should be EV only and/or carpool. Excluding carpoolers, nothing with an ICE should be allowed…..PERIOD!

Terrible news! Even more congested HOV lanes full of Plug In Priuses that have to stop at every exit to recharge because their battery is so damn small! And if you want any kind of performance, the engine starts regardless of the level of battery charge! The entire PiP concept is just a scam!

This explains the new lease deals on the Ford Energi models.

C-MAX Energi is now $76/mo LESS than the Hybrid version NET(payments_down).

The Fusion Energi is now just $27/mo more than the Hybrid version NET.

At 70+ mpg fully charged in hybrid mode, it should be a no brainer to go with the plug.


Why so much hate on the Prius Plugin….? I live in LA land of the driving. I use to spend $400 a month in gas filled up nearly every couple of days, that car was a Passat. Then I bought a Prius C without the greensticker. Filled up once a week. $144 a month. Now with the Prius Plug-In I fill up every 4 to 5 weeks about $36. If I drive local streets, I use absolutely no gas. On the Freeway it depends on the speed but being in LA with Stop and Go traffic my battery gets charged right back up. So Its easy to go 30 miles with no gas…… No spectacular but still not bad either.

I’d imagine the 15000 is actually 10,000 because the DMV approve the backlogged applications. I submitted the application on the same day they ran out May 12 and got my greensticker in the mail 2 days ago.

I will say my next car is a Tesla.

The main problem seems to be that we are never quite sure of the rate at which these stickers are issued, so it’s a guessing game about when the last one will be issued! I finally figured out this problem … I calculated the rate by looking at earlier versions of the California Air Resources Board website, and made a graph that projects the date when the current quota of 55,000 stickers will be gone. Per my projection that will happen is early October 2014. You can read about my analysis and see the graph on my blog here:
Hope this helps people buying hybrid-electric cars!

Any idea how long it takes to get the sticker after you apply? 7? 15? 30?

Hi S Rao,
It took me about a week to get my new license plate (which is needed before you can apply for the sticker). Then, another week to get the Green stickers in the mail. So I would say 2 weeks from the time you buy your car (is my experience)