SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — A new program is allowing drivers of plug-in vehicles to access California’s carpool lanes solo.

The state started issuing the new stickers on January 1st to drivers such as Steve Pinkard.  His car doesn’t run on gasoline but uses natural gas, allowing him to use HOV lanes as a solo driver.

Pinkard said, “It saves me money, time, money, the works. The money is huge. My gas bill is half everybody else’s. The bridge tolls are half.”

Last year, the state ended its perk for thousands of hybrid cars with yellow stickers, which were the envy of many Bay Area drivers.

The new law means a new color coding system. White carpool tags are for cars that don’t use gasoline but are powered by an electric battery, hydrogen fuel or natural gas. Plug-in gas/electric hybrid vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Prius Plug-In are issued green stickers.

The California Air Resources Board is issuing green stickers only to the first 40,000 who apply. But there are an unlimited number of white stickers available. Hybrid cars that had yellow stickers are not eligible for the new program.

To find out which vehicles qualify for the HOV stickers, go to

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (23)
  1. alex thom says:

    now the state should charge the owner of any vehicle that does not get at least 35 miles per gl $5,000.00 oer year… you’ll see how fast our oil use will be down…

    1. Paul says:

      I’m sure you’re a dem to even propose that.

    2. vb says:

      Yeah!!!! Lets TAXX People who CANT AFFORD NEW CARS that get #% mpg!!! Youre a REAL Rocket Scientist HUH!!

  2. EVowner says:

    There is no car that runs on natural gas AND electric battery. That is a mistake.

    1. electric dummy says:

      do more research there are many cars that run on just electric such as the tesla roadster

  3. JED says:

    I thought the state was finished giving “free rides” to solo drivers in CAR POOL LANES (get it – LESS CARS!). THIS SUCKS!

    What part of HIGH OCCUPANCY Vehicle don’t those people understand?

    My pickup is “green” … it runs on PLASTIC — MasterCard, Visa…. but I don’t expect a free pass. On the other hand, I should get a free pass for car pool lanes because I SPEND MORE money on gasoline. To slow me down puts me in traffic longer, thus more tail pipe emissions for that area.

    1. kq says:

      want some cheese with your whine?

      1. fsetepitc says:

        Not sure who’s post made me laugh more.

  4. Keith says:

    Steve has had the for site to identify a great way to use alt fuel concept, he should be commended way to go bro!
    Way to go to the state form supporting him, and others who are moving past old thinking.

  5. Get Off Your High Horse says:

    Is there anything worse than laws created to change social attitudes? It doesn’t work and just serves to make the people who don’t benefit from the law angry. We need to change the way people think and interact with the environment through social responsibility – not by passing laws.

    Look at the irony here. A “free” country that punishes people who drive cars that use gas (or more gas than another model). What ever happened to the basic freedom to drive the car of your choice??????

    1. Agent Frank says:

      “Is there anything worse than laws created to change social attitudes? ”

      Are you still upset over the whole ban on child pornography thing ? Think about it. It is not a law, it is an incentive to be concious of the earth. And how are you being punished ? Explain please.

    2. Paul says:

      No while Obama is in office. Why do you think his energy plan is to have gas go as high as that in Europe…so we’re forced to buy whatever car the govt forces down our throats!

  6. smarter says:

    how dumb – they are the ones that should be sitting in traffic while the gas guzzlers need to be moving to conserve fuel

    1. ebony says:

      LOL…..that made my day!!!

  7. Picker says:

    I am one of the few Americans who works in the FARM industry, I can not afford a “GREEN CAR”, though my illegal coworkers drive around in new cars and smoke $5 cigars, I cant figure it out….. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Mike says:

      Maybe they know how to budget and handle money. Maybe you can ask them for some advice.

  8. KBR says:

    Prove that HOV lanes work. CalTrans has usage data that can be used to prove HOV lanes actually work.

  9. Kdon says:

    It seems to me that only the privlaged get to use the HOV lanes. Is this not a form of profiling? Or maybe Obama can get me one!

  10. hiflyinhurc says:

    Maybe people should ride their bikes more..Or wait that can’t happen, that would me people would actually have to get into shape and work out and get off the couch more. Maybe we should go back to horse’s that would be awesome.

  11. John says:

    I dont care if gas was 10$ a gallon, it would not keep me from driving a big truck or a fast car. The earth’s not my problem. I wont be here in 100 years and since I am not a breeder, I wont have to worry for my non existent kids.