Six new pro-EV bills were recently signed into law in California by the Governor there, Jerry Brown.
The new efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles in the state encompass a variety of different approaches to the goal — including an increase in direct incentives, measures to improve the ease of ownership, and, of course, the granting of special access to the state’s ubiquitous carpool lanes for EV owners.
The bill — AB 1721 — specifically grants plug-in drivers access to high-occupancy toll lanes for free or at a discount. This builds on the fact that the drivers of zero-emission vehicles could already access California’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes without passengers, now allowing said drivers to see the tolls waived as well.
Green Car Reports provides more info:
In addition, AB 2013 will increase the number of plug-in hybrids allowed to travel in HOV lanes from 55,000 to 70,000. The original limit of 40,000 was reached back in May, then subsequently increased by 15,000 to allow the state to continue issuing green access stickers.
There is still no cap on battery-electric cars in HOV lanes (nor hydrogen fuel-cell or natural-gas vehicles), and buyers don’t have to wait to attach one of those white stickers to their bumpers. Two more bills addressed local carpool-lane usage. AB 2090 removed “level of service” requirements from HOT lanes operated by the San Diego Association of Governments and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, while SB 1298 makes two pilot programs permanent for HOT lanes in the Los Angeles area.
We’ve reported on the “California Charge Ahead Initiative” a couple of times already. That one, SB 1275, is another that got approved. Primarily, the bill will provide more funds for lower-income EV buyers.
The recent bill signing bonanza marks the second year in a row that Governor Brown has signed 6 EV-related bills to coincide with the end of a national electric-car event. The state is aiming for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Wonder what the bills will be next year?
Related Story: New Housing In California To Be “EV Capable”
Image Credit: California Flag via Flickr CC
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