Those new green stickers in the Golden State haven't exactly been golden.
The vehicles are no longer novel, their yellow stickers have faded from years of exposure to the sun and, after six years of enjoying the privilege, it's now time for California's hybrid owners to suffer with the rest of us in the state's traffic-clogged non-High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.
A few years ago, a little yellow sticker on your ride was worth about $4,000 on the used car market. These "Clean Air Vehicle" stickers allow clean cars with just one occupant into the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in California and can save some commuters up to two hours a day. Wow. If time is money, then what is the ability to speed along in the fast lane worth in 2009, especially since the state stopped handing the badges out a while ago?
As we mentioned yesterday, the EPA's list of HOV-lane-friendly hybrids has seen the light of day. The official draft list is now out, and it's pretty much as expected (you can download the PDF here). There's no blanket exemption for hybrids in the HOV lanes, as vehicles like the Lexus GS450h, Dodge Ram Hybrid and Saturn Vue Greenline still get to sit in traffic. CNN has the list of acceptable vehicles:
If you're shopping for a used Prius, expect to pay $4,000 more for one with the carpool sticker. That's what Chris Woodyard of USA Today found out when he asked Kelley Blue Book to sample prices. Carpool stickers allow the vehicle to cruise the HOV lanes in California even if there is only one person in the vehicle. The state gave out only 85,000 stickers, and the stickers stay with the vehicle, not the vehicle owner should he purchase a new Prius or another qualified vehicle. KBB's sample showe
The California DMV is no longer accepting applications from Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid owners for carpool stickers. The state allocated only 85,000 stickers that allow drivers of these two vehicles to cruise in the HOV or diamond lanes on California freeways. The stickers were given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Agency officials say they are over the limit by 700 applications and no longer want motorists to apply. The stickers already on vehicles can remain, even if the vehic