SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A bill to extend California’s so-called “green sticker” program for clean cars is moving ahead in the state legislature.

SB 286, authored by state Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco, would give another three years of life to a program that allows low-emission vehicles to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.

When California first created the now expired yellow sticker for hybrid cars, 85,000 of them were snapped up because they allowed drivers to drive in the carpool lane. Now, Yee wants to extend the “green sticker” program for plug-in hybrids and hydrogen cars from 2015 to 2018.

That bill was unanimously passed by the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday.

“We all would like to do things because it’s the right thing to do. But if there’s an additional benefit, such as getting onto the HOV lane, that’s an additional plus,” Yee said.

There are still 30,000 green stickers available. Some think demand may be less because the new generation of low-emission cars is more expensive than the old ones.

Yee’s bill also applies to electric cars and he said he hopes this “carrot and stick approach” will get more people to try cars like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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