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USA: REGION: New car-pool sticker program starts with little fanfare

California’s yellow clean-air car stickers were popular: They allowed 85,000 solo drivers of vehicles such as the Toyota Prius free use of the state’s car-pool lanes, until the program expired last summer.

The successor “green sticker program” started Jan. 1, with little fanfare.

The quiet start was probably because there’s no car yet on the market eligible for the state’s new and more stringent program.

You’ll have to buy a Toyota Prius Plug-In or a modified Chevrolet Volt, also a plug-in, when they go on sale later this year to be eligible for a green sticker, according to state officials.

Those are the only two widely manufactured cars the state expects will meet its new green sticker standards anytime soon. Only 40,000 green stickers will be available through the new program, which is scheduled to sunset Jan. 1, 2015.

Some clean-air car drivers said this past week they’ve been left in the dark about the new program. State and regional agencies have done little to promote the program, which is intended to help sales of the next generation of even cleaner running cars.


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