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Green Decals Allow Zero-Emission Cars Into Bay Area Carpool Lanes

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Nissan Leaf Electric Car. (Nissan)

Nissan Leaf Electric Car. (Nissan)

TimRyan20100909_KCBS_0232r Tim Ryan
Tim Ryan graduated from CSU Chico with a Journalism degree and work...
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Starting Tuesday, DMV offices throughout California planned to issue a total of 40,000 green decals, intended for near-zero emission vehicles. The decal will entitled drivers of the latest wave of eco-friendly cars to drive solo in the state’s carpool lanes, for three years.

Some motorists may recall, the new green decal program is nearly identical to a yellow decal program for early hybrid vehicle drivers. That program expired in June 2011. An estimated 85,000 drivers took advantage of that yellow decal program.

“In many studies,” weighed in Daniel Sperling with California’s Air Resources Board, “we’ve seen people value these (decals) and the access to the HOV lanes, in the thousands of dollars. So, this is a way of incentivizing it without any taxpayer money.”

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

There is one substantial catch with the green decal program – the cars that are eligible are still on the assembly lines, and won’t even be in showrooms for weeks to months. The first eligible cars will be the 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and the Chevy Volt.

“They’re expensive, they’re different for consumers and so we need to create the incentives for people to want to buy them,” said Sperling.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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