Teslas & Carpool: 6 Common Questions (Solved)

If you drive a Tesla, you’re probably wondering whether you can use the carpool lane.

Depending on where you live, carpool rules differ in each state. 

In this article, we answer common questions people ask about Teslas and carpools.

Can Teslas use the carpool lane?

Tesla owners can use the carpool lane in the United States. If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle, your car might be given access to carpool lanes by the authorities.

For instance, you must have at least two people in your car to drive in the carpool lane. It is the general rule for most carpool lanes in most states in the United States.

To drive in the carpool lane, you might need to ride with a colleague or your child to be eligible.

These carpool lanes are designed to assist commuters, and these lanes are only active during peak traffic hours.

These hours are usually between 7-9 am and 4-6 pm, from Monday through Friday. Holidays are not exempted.

Hours to use these carpools are posted on the signs next to or above the carpool lanes.

The carpool lanes are all-access and can be used by any drivers on the freeway during all other days and hours.

Car Pool Lanes in Georgia

The 90 miles of carpool lanes span three freeways, and these are I-20, I-85, and I-95.

In Georgia, these carpool lanes are always situated on the far left side of the freeway, adjacent to the oncoming traffic or the barrier.

Two occupants must be in your car to use the carpool lane. It is not a must that two of the occupants have to be coworkers or fellow carpoolers.

If you have an infant in the vehicle, you can still use the carpool lane in Georgia.

Carpool lanes are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike in some states. Carpool lanes are not as fast as other lanes on the freeway.

HOV Lane Times and Exceptions in Arizona

The HOV lanes in Arizona are currently accessible to Teslas.

The HOV lane also has restricted hours. The lane is usually open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

These are peak traffic hours, and there are no holiday exceptions.

If you are driving alone, you cannot use these carpool lanes during this time. During restricted hours, you cannot use the route to pass other vehicles.

Can Teslas also use the carpool lane in California?

In California, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, new electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids are eligible for carpool stickers.

The California Air Resources Board released a complete list of vehicles that qualifies for the California Carpool Sticker.

You can check if your electric car is eligible on the board’s website.

Make sure to also read our article about why Tesla moved from California to Texas.

Do all electric cars follow the same carpool lane rules?

Almost all of them have similar rules. There are different variations in state laws and regulations.

Before using a carpool lane with an electric car, make sure you understand the road rules regarding the lane.

Do Teslas need a carpool sticker?

You must have a carpool sticker if you must use the lane, regardless of whether you’re driving a Tesla or gas-powered car.

There are several HOV carpool stickers in California, and these are:

The 2020 CAV decal is orange, and it expires on 1/1/2024.

We also have the Purple carpool sticker issued in 2019, which expires on 1/1/2023.

How do you get a carpool sticker for your Tesla?

Over the years, the United States Government has been trying to control the environmental pollution caused by smoke from vehicles and toxic gases.

The increase in sales of electric-hybrid vehicles in the United States and beyond has necessitated the need to have carpool stickers.

Carpool lanes are created to enable low-emission hybrid and electric vehicles. You are required to apply for the sticker, get a decal and show it on your car.

These are the following steps you need to follow to apply for a carpool sticker:

  • The first step to ensure your vehicle is eligible for the car sticker is to make sure your vehicle passes the transitional zero-emission vehicle test.
  • You must also meet the zero-emission standards and have a 15 years warranty on 150,000 miles of zero-emission. If you want to know if your vehicle is qualified, you can log into your state website and check if your car brand is on the list.

The list is carefully prepared after a thorough examination of various vehicles that meet the standards of zero-emission.

  • The next step is to check the eligible list and find your vehicle’s matching sticker. Once the list comes up on your screen, find your car model and year of make. You will find car models in this list that last about 15 to 20 years.
  • You will get important details such as fuel type, engine size, and sitting availability of passengers. Check the decal color attached to your car model. You are likely to find two types of a decal, and these are green and white.
  • Ensure you check the color of the decal associated with your car and that the decal color is based on vehicle exhaust standards.

Please also read our article about whether Teslas are good for long commutes

How much does the carpool sticker cost?

It cost about $22 to get a carpool sticker in California. We believe it will likely cost the same or less in other states.

A carpool sticker is attached to a vehicle that enables the drivers of electric and hybrid cars to travel in the carpool lane.

Traveling on the carpool lane makes your journey faster, as not every car is permitted to use the road.

Hybrid car owners are eligible to apply for these stickers. These stickers are available for individuals who own electric vehicles and encourage people to buy automobiles with ultra-low emissions.

Unfortunately, the carpool sticker program has been stopped, as most carpool lanes are used by fuel-efficient vehicles.

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