CA HOV Carpool Lane Decal Update

If you have a carpool hybrid in CA with yellow HOV decals, the days of your carpool lane privileges are running out.   In case you haven’t been paying attention, recently passed law SB 535 has given you a reprieve by extending the expiration date from January 1st until July 1, 2011.

If you want to keep driving in the carpool lanes after July 1st, you have two options:  1) Buy a zero-emission vehicle, like the new electric Nissan Leaf or the natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX, which will qualify for white HOV decals. Or 2) Purchase one of the new plug-in hybrids coming onto the market next year, including the Chevy Volt.  These will qualify for a new carpool sticker especially for plug-in hybrids.   These new decals will not be available until January 1, 2012 and will be be limited to 40,000 vehicles.

While the yellow decals expire July 1, 2011, the next generation of carpool stickers will be good until January 1, 2015.
If you have any questions about the new law and how it effects you, or would like assistance in getting your next carpool hybrid, please contact Gene Chamson at Gene@Priusfinder.com or call (510) 339-3646.

World’s First Nissan LEAF 100% Electric Car Delivered to Bay Area Customer

Source: SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/

Nissan North America made history today with the world’s first delivery of a Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle. Olivier Chalouhi, a San Francisco Bay Area resident and the first person in the United States to place a Nissan LEAF order, took delivery of his black Nissan LEAF SL at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma. The delivery was followed by a press conference at San Francisco City Hall Plaza. This groundbreaking moment represents the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.

Nissan LEAFChalouhi, a 31-year-old entrepreneur is the founder of Fanhattan, a venture-backed stealth start-up in the connected TV space, where he serves as chief technology officer. He currently lives in Redwood City, Calif., with his wife, Jana, and their two children and holds a master’s degree in computer science from the French Aeronautical and Space School. Before purchasing his Nissan LEAF, Chalouhi commuted to work on an electric bicycle.

“Electricity is the new fuel for cars, and the Nissan LEAF has the potential to transform the automotive industry and the way people drive,” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas. “Starting today, drivers have the freedom to choose a future that produces zero tailpipe emissions, moves away from our dependence on fossil fuels, and represents the end of trips to the gas station. This Nissan LEAF delivery is the first of thousands and signifies the dawn of a movement that brings sustainable mobility to within our grasp.”

The San Francisco Bay Area events kicked off more than a week of festivities, as Nissan delivers the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to each of its primary launch markets in Southern California, Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee. Nissan also donated $25,000 to the World Wildlife Fund to mark the occasion.

“San Francisco is committed to make the Bay Area the top EV market in America, and the fact that San Francisco is the number one market in the nation for Nissan LEAF ownership reservations is proof we’re on our way,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “We are proud that Bay Area resident is the very first owner of a LEAF, anywhere in the world. We congratulate Olivier Chalouhi and the thousands of other Bay Area residents who soon will be driving electric cars, leading the way to climate friendly transportation.”

The initial Nissan LEAF deliveries will be followed by a second shipment of Nissan LEAF electric cars scheduled to arrive on Dec. 20 and destined for consumer driveways in time for the holidays. Nissan is on track for a nationwide launch of the Nissan LEAF by 2012, with Hawaii and Texas next to roll out in early 2011. In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.

Editor’s Note:  If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a Nissan LEAF, it will qualify for white CA HOV decals.