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Prius Plug-In sales leap despite end to California HOV lane stickers – Torque News

The predicted drop in Prius Plug-In sales by some EV advocates does not come to pass. Rather, sales quadrupled in May and the PIP outsold every green car except the Leaf.
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In hybrid electric vehicle just had its best month of sales ever, despite one factor that many said would result in its sales dropping significantly. That factor was the availability of the California HOV lane stickers for the Prius Plug-In. The strikers for it ran out in April. Yet, despite the dire warnings from some EV advocates, the Prius Plug-In sold better in the month of May than it ever has. In fact, sales were up four-fold over May 2013. It is again the number two vehicle with a plug in the US for the second straight month after only the Nissan leaf, which also had a banner month of sales.
In California there is a sticker system that dictates which cars get to drive with just one occupant in the “High Occupancy Vehicle” or HOV lanes. To those in California, the biggest green car market on Earth, these stickers are a big deal. Electric vehicles (EVs) have one type of sticker (white) and cars that can run on electricity sometimes, but also have a gasoline powered engine, get another sticker (green). It is a bit more complicated than that (of course!), but that is a quick summary. In April the green ones ran out, but as far back in March the California Department of Motor Vehicles ended a program that allowed car dealers to pre-emptively apply for the stickers. There is no doubt that both dealers and buyers were aware by May 1st that the Prius Plug-In would not receive a sticker.
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