California Hybrids To Lose Their HOV Status Next Year

by , 07/12/10

california, CA, hov sticker, hov permit, prius, hybrid vehicles

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you but Californians weren’t buying Priuses just because of their fuel efficiency – they were also in it to gain Clean Air Vehicle status and get a handy HOV lane sticker. Up until 2007, 85,000 stickers were given out for hybrid vehicles, but soon those stickers won’t mean anything. Effective as of January 1st, 2011, the prized yellow HOV sticker on hybrid vehicles like the Prius will be defunct, but will still work for more efficient natural gas and electric vehicles through 2015. Prius and hybrid car owners are likely to be quite miffed by the status downgrade, but the new law will help encourage people to buy even more fuel efficient vehicles.

california, CA, hov sticker, hov permit, prius, hybrid vehicles

California started issuing HOV stickers for hybrid vehicles in 2005 and issued 85,000 in total until 2007, when they stopped issuing the stickers. The incentive was meant to encourage car buyers to purchase more fuel efficient cars and reward them with the ability to drive in the carpool lane even if there was only one person in the car – and it worked. In fact, used Priuses with the HOV sticker were worth $1200 to $1500 more than those without.

As of January 1, 2011, the yellow HOV sticker will no longer grant access to the HOV lane for hybrid vehicles. However, the white HOV permits for fully electric, natural gas, or fuel-cell hydrogen vehicles will still be valid through 2015. Also a new law is expected to be passed which will extend HOV access both to plug-in vehicles, like the Prius plug-in hybrid, and electric cars with range-extending gasoline engines like the Volt. The old law was successful in encouraging hybrid vehicle purchases, but now that law is out of date. The new law should go even further to encourage CA drivers to buy even more fuel efficient vehicles.

Via Green Car Reports

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  1. j.selene February 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Looks like you can still use them until July 1st. I believe January 1st is when they were no longer made available to new drivers.

    Personally, I understand why they want to use this to encourage high efficiency vehicle purchases, however hybrids/EVs are the most efficient vehicles one could use in stop and go traffic. So I kinda chuckle, but I think it does more good than harm for now.

  2. larryb October 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Unbelievable..Well now I will buy a Diesel Truck to make my commute of 57 miles ea. way to work if I\’m unable to use the diamond lane in my Civic (the scooter) that I have driven for the past 5 1/2 years. This is typical government to take back what they give..Whoever\’s idea this was should be revoked from office.

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