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Assembly OKs clean vehicle carpool-lane access to 2020; Senate next

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A bill to extend carpool-lane access for electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles passed the California Assembly by a wide margin Monday.

The legislation, AB 266 written by Robert Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), also gives such vehicles access to carpool lanes converted to toll roads. The bill passed on a 49-22 vote and now moves on to the state Senate.

Under Blumenfield’s legislation, cars with white clean-air vehicle stickers — such as electric, hydrogen fuel cell or compressed natural-gas vehicles — would get carpool-lane access to 2020.  If the bill doesn’t pass, the program phases out in 2015.

Cars with green stickers — plug-in hybrids — would get carpool lane use until 2018. 

While there is no limit on the amount of white stickers, green stickers are capped at 40,000. 

“We won’t make a dent in our clean air and climate goals without getting more of these cars on the road,” said Blumenfield.  “With more clean cars than ever coming off the production line, this is an exciting time in the clean-car industry.  We must support it and the consumers making greener choices by keeping this program up and running.”

He said that 34,051 stickers have been issued under the Clean Air Vehicle Sticker program as of March: 10,831 green and 23,220 white.  That represents just a fraction of the roughly 28 million vehicles on California roads.

Here the list of vehicles eligible for the stickers. 

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