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Quota for hybrid cars reached

February 04, 2007|From the Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Hybrid owners hoping to drive solo in the fast lane are out of luck.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Friday that it had issued all 85,000 carpool lane stickers available to hybrid drivers under a state law passed in 2005.

Spokesman Steve Haskins said the agency received 700 applications more than the limit for the $8 stickers, which expire in 2010.

The passes allow drivers of hybrids that get at least 45 miles per gallon to drive in freeway carpool lanes, even if they are alone. Three vehicles qualified: the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight and the hybrid Honda Civic.

The number of hybrid vehicles registered in California has doubled in the last year, to 135,000.

Those still contemplating a hybrid purchase have one other option: buying a used hybrid that already has a sticker. The stickers stay with the vehicles when they are sold.

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