Plug In America has been opposing a California legislative bill that values plug-in hybrids but limits incentives on purchasing all-electric vehicles.
The electric car advocacy group has been encouraging its members and the public to oppose Assembly Bill 1964, which is expected to be voted on before the legislative session ends on August 31. Plug In America (PIA) appreciates support the bill gives to High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) carpool lane green stickers for plug-in hybrid vehicles, but opposes limitations placed on white stickers for battery electric vehicles.
HOV stickers have always been an enticing selling point for car companies in a state beleaguered by heavy traffic. It’s been a perk for electric car drivers to access “diamond lanes” while riding solo, while other vehicles are required to have two or more passengers in the car to access HOV lanes.
The AB 1964 bill removes the current limit of 85,000 on the total number of green stickers that can be issued to plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt and the upcoming Toyota Prius Prime. The 85,000 limit applies to plug-in hybrids sold in the state purchased before January 2018 and which would expire on January 1, 2019. Those green stickers would be expanded through 2020 under the proposed bill.
White stickers, which apply to all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have also been set to expire January 1, 2019. PIA has objected to the bill for supporting extension of the plug-in hybrid HOV sticker but cutting off all-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
The advocacy group also opposes income limitations that are being imposed under AB 1964. Starting January 1, 2019, the bill would impose an income limit on those eligible for the increased supply of HOV stickers at $125,000 for a single filer, $170,000 for a head of household, and $250,000 for joint filers.
PIA says that the income caps will create “market uncertainty” at a time when demand for zero-emission vehicles remain very low. The advocacy group would like to have these caps removed and replaced with “additional incentives be put in place for the low-income and used vehicle market.”