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California Cancels Cap On PHEV Stickers For Carpool-Lane Access

green-hov-lane-sticker_100389293_mCalifornian lawmakers have done away with the limit on solo-carpool-lane-access stickers for plug-in hybrids (green stickers), according to recent reports.

Previous to the new bill removing the limit (SB-838), there had been a limit of 85,000 on the number of “green stickers” that could be awarded — in contrast to the unlimited number of “white stickers” (for all-electrics).

The changes, which have gone into effect as of September 13th, will remain into effect until at least 2019, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The earlier limit had been reached several months back, and we reported in February on rumors that the limits might be lifted.

Green Car Reports provides some background: “The program was originally slated to end in 2015, but legislation passed in 2013 extended it four more years. The total number of green stickers was originally capped at 40,000, but the limit was raised multiple times, most recently when an additional 15,000 decals were added in 2015 on top of the previous 70,000-sticker allotment. The green stickers are used for conventional plug-in hybrids, as well as extended-range electric cars like the BMW i3 REx.”

Continuing: “SB-838 differs somewhat from another proposed bill — AB-1964 — that would have removed the limit on ‘green stickers,’ as well as add income caps for new applicants. Under this bill, ‘green stickers’ issued during 2018 would also have been good through 2020, although white stickers would still expire in 2019.”

It’s questionable if the green sticker program will be extended beyond the current 2019 ending date, considering that all-electrics should be much more plentiful and compelling by then. It may be worth remembering that California previously had a “yellow sticker” program for non-plug-in hybrids that ran until 2011.

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James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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