California’s Solo Drivers With EVs, Hybrids May Get Booted From Carpool Lanes After Next Year

California’s Solo Drivers With EVs, Hybrids May Get Booted From Carpool Lanes After Next Year

A Toyota Prius with a California "clean air vehicle" sticker drives in the carpool lane on highway 101 in San Rafael, Calif., on May 6, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

4/11/2024

Updated: 4/11/2024

Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle drivers in California who now use the carpool lane may get those privileges revoked next year.
Thanks to a federal transportation bill, the green cars are able to apply for a Clean Air Vehicle decal through the state to use the special lanes, allowing them to bypass some traffic snarls during busy commuting times.
But unless the federal legislation is renewed, those privileges will be canceled Sept. 30, 2025.
The federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) authorizes carpool lanes, also known as high-occupancy vehicle lanes, in 20 states. The lanes require vehicles to have a minimum number of occupants during peak traffic hours.
But in California, the state’s carpool lane requirements allow single-occupant drivers of fuel-efficient low-emission vehicles to use them.
“Congress must first act before California could extend the program,” Ronald Ongtoaboc, a spokesperson for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, said in a statement to SFGATE, a news site based in San Francisco.
Any extension to the program must also be approved by the state Legislature.
Currently, there are 411,133 vehicles in California with active Clean Air Vehicle decals, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

Author

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.