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HYBRID CARMAGEDDON ARRIVES IN JULY

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Jul 1, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

hovsticker555
Goodbye, HOV lane sticker. It’s been nice having you

IN JULY, 85,000 HYBRID VEHICLES GET KICKED OUT OF THE CALIFORNIA CARPOOL LANES In Southern California, we’ve been hearing a lot about the anticipated closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass for 53 hours on July 16-17, 2011. It’s even acquired the nickname Carmageddon. Traffic and government officials have been encouraging commuters to stay home or stay away that weekend. "There's gridlock on the 405 virtually any time of the day, but particularly during the rush hour, and if you think it's bad now, let me just make something absolutely clear: On July 16 and 17, it will be an absolute nightmare," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was one of the speakers at a news conference held earlier this month to warn commuters about the closure. On the other hand, surprisingly little has been said about the Hybrid Carmageddon that’s about to hit the freeways all over California in a matter of days. That’s when 85,000 hybrid vehicles get kicked out of the carpool lanes. On July 1st, the yellow single occupant hybrid HOV lane stickers expire. On July 2nd, use of an HOV/carpool lane without the required number of vehicle occupants may lead to the driver receiving a citation under California Vehicle Code Section 21655.5. Since July 2nd is the start of a long weekend, the effect of the expiration will not be felt until Tuesday, July 5th. That’s when up to 85,000 additional cars get introduced into the non-carpool lanes of California. Welcome to Hybrid Carmageddon. This time, however, it won’t be over in a matter of days. In fact, it will get worse when the summer is over, and everyone goes back to work and school. That's when Super Hybrid Carmageddon arrives. THE NEW HOV LANE STICKER In 2012, however, relief is on the horizon. On January 1, 2012, a brand new sticker (pending federal approval) will be available and will be valid through January 1, 2015 to the first 40,000 applicants that purchase or lease cars meeting California's enhanced advanced technology partial zero emission vehicle (AT PZEV) requirements . The new sticker will be available to vehicles meeting the Enhanced AT PZEV requirement. Expecting to meet this new standard are certain plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hydrogen internal combustion engine (hydrogen ICE) vehicles. In order to be certified as an Enhanced AT PZEV, PHEVs and hydrogen ICE vehicles must: • Meet California's most stringent tailpipe emission standard • Have zero evaporative emissions • Have a 15 yr/150K mile warranty on the emissions system and; • Have a 10 yr/150K warranty on the zero emission energy storage system. California is quick to point out that not all PHEV and hydrogen ICE vehicles will meet these requirements. For additional information, you can contact the ARB Helpline at (800) 242-4450 or click here. To search all local, State and Federal Vehicle incentives, visit the incentives search on DriveClean.ca.gov. In the meantime, get ready for Hybrid Carmageddon: July 2011 and onward—at least until January of 2012. - Roy Nakano

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