Legislators Try to Boost Appeal of Green Carpool Lane Stickers

Lauren Sommer/KQED.

California’s “green sticker” program for plug-in hybrid cars is off to a slow start. The stickers allow single-driver vehicles in the carpool lane, but after a year, only a quarter of the stickers have been spoken for.
This week, state legislators plan on introducing a bill to boost their appeal.
The state’s original yellow sticker program for regular hybrid cars proved to be popular from the start. In 2005, its first year, it maxed out at 85,000 cars. Those stickers expired in 2011.
Now the state is offering green stickers for a newer technology: plug-in hybrid cars. So far, only 9,000 have been issued in the first year, out of a 40,000 overall limit.
“Unfortunately, because of the economy, the car sales have not been all that great,” says State Senator Leland Yee. There are seven plug-in hybrids on the market today, most of them more expensive than traditional hybrid cars.
Yee says he plans to introduce a bill that would make plug-in hybrid cars more appealing by allowing drivers to use the carpool lane for longer. The bill would extend the life of green stickers from two years to four.
“Then you can make a clear argument that in the long run, you save quite a bit in terms of time and money,” Yee says.
All-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf qualify for white stickers, which are available in unlimited numbers.
Source: Kelly Blue Book
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