California commuters will either celebrate or curse SB 535, a new law that extends hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles' usage of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in the Golden State.
Introduced by Sen. Leland Yee and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new law expands the ability for hybrid, electric and natural-gas powered vehicles fitted with the ubiquitous yellow bumper stickers to drive solo in the carpool lanes during designated hours. Additionally, it increases the number of permits to 40,000 and widens the eligible vehicles to include the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Nissan Leaf EV.
Some lawmakers opposed the bill, citing that California's carpool lanes are already congested with alt-fuel vehicles and additional permits will exacerbate the issue. And this shouldn't come as a surprise, but General Motors sponsored the bill.
[Source: LA Times]