Three pending bills could help California EV drivers

by Ernie Hernandez on September 18, 2012

It's Electric photo

State could make EV ownership more attractive alternative than conventional vehicle ownership

Three Assembly Bills put forth by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield have been approved by the legislature and await the Governor’s signature.

Assembly Bill 2502 will ease the initial cost of electric vehicle (EV) acquisition by including the cost of the charging equipment into the financing of the vehicle. This could ease the initial financial burden of going electric.

Assembly Bill 2583 may prove to be the bill that broadens the scope of EV ownership as consumers see that more charging stations are available. AB 2583 provides for the installation of charging stations and alternative fuel infrastructure into state-owned parking lots and park and ride lots. Park and ride lots specifically already are widely dispersed in key high traffic areas. In addition, they include needed electrical infrastructure as they typically offer parking lot lighting. Finally, many of these lots are located near or even adjacent to retail areas, which would allow the EV owner to shop or get something to eat while their car is charging. The state would work with private vendors to install the charging equipment, so it would not be the state operating the equipment, nor providing the electricity.

Finally, Assembly Bill 2405 may be of most interest to commuters. AB 2405 will allow Clean Air Vehicle Sticker owners (those EV and other alternative fuel vehicles eligible) to not only drive in car pool lanes as single occupant vehicles, but also free access to the lanes that have been converted to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Examples would be the Interstate 15 Express Lanes in San Diego (Edit: As noted in the comments below by one of our long time readers, the Express Lanes currently allow the white CAV sticker), and State Route 73 in Orange County. As this toll road network expands throughout Northern and Southern California, the ability to access these lanes at no cost will be a significant contributing factor to the adoption of EVs. Some toll charges can exceed $6.00 during peak drive time, so this could equate potentially to a $60 per week savings.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

indyflick September 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Actually, if you have a white sticker you can use the Interstate 15 Express Lanes in San Diego for free today.
http://fastrak.511sd.com/fastrak/faq

Q: Can I drive my hybrid or zero-emission vehicle on the I-15 Express Lanes for free?
A: Only zero-emission vehicles displaying the approved Clean Air Vehicle Sticker issued by the California DMV are allowed to travel in the Express Lanes for free with a solo driver. If you drive a hybrid vehicle, the only way to ride in the Express Lanes for free is if there are two or more people in your vehicle. The California Department of Motor Vehicles Hybrid Clean Air Vehicle Decal Program ended July 1, 2011. Owners of hybrid clean air vehicles displaying yellow Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decals are no longer allowed to operate their vehicle in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane unless the minimum passenger requirements are met. After July 1, 2011, use of an HOV lane without the minimum required passengers may subject the driver to a citation.

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) September 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

indy – thanks for that. It’s difficult to keep track of HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Express Lanes… It seems that there are a multitude of variations, including three-person lanes in certain parts of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. I will edit my article to reflect your input.

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