Its official, the HOV stickers for Hybrids (see SF Chronicle article) are here. I have seen two in the last few days around the Menlo Park Area.
They’re kind of cool, in a very government looking way. Three stickers are placed on the left, right and rear bumber, giving you a little bit of an official look as you glide down the highway. I personally liked the white window decals from the electric vehicle days a little better.
Applications are coming in at 1,000 a day, with a cap of 65,000. With Bay Area traffic on the rise, it will be interesting to see how successful this program is.
An alternate proposal would of course be to auction off these slots to the highest bidder, regardless of vehicle type. I estimate clearing price above $1000/yr, as this could easily become the de rigeur accessory for your typical 745iL-toting VC or hollywood exec. Total funds raised: $65 Million. Conservatively, that is enough to power 2 million homes with clean renewable energy (there are about 12 Million households in CA). Surely that would have a much bigger impact than a slight bump in demand for hybrids, or given the supply situation, a slight bump in the price for hybrids.
Don’t get us wrong — we love hybrids. They are just an incredibly expensive place to reduce pollution. Government and industry should start at the bottom of the supply curve and think about more cost effective ways to accomplish their goals.