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Good News, Bad News: California’s New EV Carpool Lane Sticker Bill and Why It Isn’t Good for EVs

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In the world of electric vehicle sales, a surprising amount of importance falls on carpool lane access in California. This is due to the fact that 50% of the entire nation’s plug-in vehicle sales occur there, with one extra large incentive being access to green and white clean air vehicle stickers which allow them to drive in the carpool lane regardless of passengers.

Unfortunately, only a limited number of the green stickers (which give access to plug-in hybrid cars) were available, and that supply ran out several months ago. There is good news, though—there is currently a bill being considered by the California legislature to expand the supply of the green stickers.

However, there is some bad news, too, which has led plug-in vehicle advocacy group Plug In America to oppose the bill and urge its members to act against it. The trouble revolves around the bill’s wording.

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On the one hand, the bill removes the green sticker supply limit entirely. In addition, new stickers issued during 2018 would last until 2020. However, on the other hand, the bill does not extend the supply of white (full-electric or hydrogen fuel cars) carpool stickers past the current expiration date of January 1st, 2019. Another problem is that the new bill imposes income caps on receiving the stickers of $125,000 for a single filer, $170,000 for a head of household, and $250,000 for joint filers. Plug In America believes that this would cause “market uncertainty”—and they may be right, since the best sellers among EVs have been and continue to be high-price luxury models.

Instead, PIA urges a change to remove the income limits, extend white sticker issuance, and add incentives to make EVs more accessible to the low-income and used vehicle markets.

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News Source: Green Car Reports