Senator Lara Introduces ZEV Equity Act to Open Carpool Lanes to Used Clean Air Vehicles

February 06, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – With California setting a goal of 5 million Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has introduced the ZEV Equity Act (Senate Bill 957) to open carpool lanes to drivers of used clean air vehicles.

“California’s traffic congestion and air pollution problems are at crisis levels, and used vehicles are the only zero emission vehicle most people can afford,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “The new supercommuters are teachers, janitors, and other people priced out of housing. We need to give more working people a reason to get into cleaner vehicles.”

Governor Brown signed an executive order on January 26, 2018, to implement the 5 million zero-emission vehicle goal.

Incentives including the HOV sticker program have spurred a 1,300 percent increase in the number of zero-emission cars on California’s roads since 2012, according to the Governor’s Office. But the HOV sticker program currently only incentivizes new zero emission vehicles, and stickers expire after four years and cannot be renewed.

The ZEV Equity Act will allow a person earning less than the median income – approximately $50,000 – to apply for an HOV sticker for a used vehicle, even if it already has had a sticker.

The number of supercommuters driving 90 minutes or more to work each day grew more than 40 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to Pew Trusts.  

California has more than 600,000 supercommuters – equivalent to the whole population of Fresno or Oakland.

The ZEV Equity Act will keep used vehicles on the road to help reach clean vehicle goals and reduce travel times for working Californians.

California is adding HOV lanes in our most crowded cities. Los Angeles (#1) and San Francisco (#4) are in the world’s top-five most congested cities, with Los Angeles residents averaging 104 hours each year stuck in traffic, and San Francisco residents averaging 83 hours. San Diego is not far behind with residents losing 46 hours a year in traffic