How You (and your EV) Can Get Moving in BC

EVehicle_HOV_Sticker

Plug in. Charge up. Go!

Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) can get a boost to their travel times thanks to recent legislation allowing them to use High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes in BC (regardless of the number of passengers being carried). HOV lanes were created to move more people in fewer vehicles, reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. HOV lanes are in place on several provincial highways and urban corridors in the Lower Mainland and Kelowna. Allowing EVs to use HOV lanes is a great step toward greener transportation and a great incentive to encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles today.

First, determine if your EV qualifies. There are many types of EVs out there, and not all of them are eligible. Once you’ve confirmed your vehicle qualifies, you can apply for a decal and a permit. If you are looking for more information on EVs, like incentives, frequently asked questions, charging guidelines or benefits, our friends at BC Hydro, and Clean Energy Vehicles for BC have great resources you should check out.

EV/HOV FAQs Answered:

  1. Why are we allowing single occupant electric vehicles to use HOV lanes?
  2. What is an eligible electric vehicle under this program?
  3. Are conventional hybrid electric (gas-hybrid) vehicles eligible?
  4. Why are conventional hybrid electric (gas-hybrid) vehicles not eligible?
  5. I live outside of B.C. (e.g in Washington) but frequently visit B.C. with my electric vehicle. Am I eligible to apply for this program?
  6. How can I get a decal for my electric vehicle?
  7. Is there a charge to participate in the program and obtain a decal?
  8. Why is an electric vehicle HOV OK decal required?
  9. How long does it take to receive a decal once an application has been submitted?
  10. I have applied for my decal but have not received it yet. Can I start driving in the HOV lanes without it?
  11. Where do I place the decal on my vehicle?
  12. My decal was damaged. How do I get a new one?
  13. What happens to the EV HOV decal if I sell my electric vehicle or return it from lease?
  14. Where can I drive my electric vehicle with a decal?
  15. Can I drive in a bus lane or vanpool lane with my EV HOV decal?
  16. Can electric vehicles with a decal access every HOV lane in the province?
  17. Can I drive on HOV lanes in a municipality?
  18. Where are all of the HOV lanes located in B.C.?
  19. What other vehicles are exempt from the occupancy requirements for an HOV lane?
  20. Are there plans for more HOV lanes in B.C.?
  21. What will happen if too many electric vehicles use the HOV lane?
  22. What are the different types of electric vehicles (EVs)?
  23. Are there any other incentives in B.C. for electric vehicle drivers?

  1. Why are we allowing single occupant electric vehicles to use HOV lanes?
    Allowing electric vehicles in lanes reserved for high occupancy vehicles promotes the adoption of clean energy vehicles and supports B.C.’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. What is an eligible electric vehicle under this program?
  3. Are conventional hybrid electric (gas-hybrid) vehicles eligible?
    No. Gas-hybrid vehicles that use the vehicle’s engine to charge the battery and do not plug in to an external outlet are not eligible for the program.
  4. Why are conventional hybrid electric (gas-hybrid) vehicles not eligible?
    Gas-hybrid vehicles offer a more fuel-efficient technology than pure gas vehicles but still produce more emissions than an electric vehicle. In addition, due to the high number of gas-hybrid vehicles in the province including them in the program could result in too many vehicles using HOV lanes, which will decrease their effectiveness.
  5. I live outside of B.C. (e.g in Washington) but frequently visit B.C. with my electric vehicle. Am I eligible to apply for this program?
    Yes. Out-of-province vehicles are eligible for the program. The vehicle must be on the eligible vehicle list and a copy of the vehicle registration must be provided with the application.
  6. How can I get a decal for my electric vehicle?
    • Decals will be issued to eligible electric vehicle owners through an application process. Details on the application process and form are available here.
    • Drivers must provide proof of registration to confirm their vehicle meets the definition of an electric vehicle and is on the eligible vehicle list.
  7. Is there a charge to participate in the program and obtain a decal?
    No.
  8. Why is an electric vehicle HOV OK decal required?
    • Many electric vehicles are hard to distinguish from gas vehicles as manufacturers use similar body frames for both types of vehicles.
    • The decal helps police and other drivers identify vehicles that are in the program. This assists police in enforcing HOV lane use.
  9. How long does it take to receive a decal once an application has been submitted?
    Please allow three to six weeks for processing once your complete application (including vehicle registration) has been received.
  10. I have applied for my decal but have not received it yet. Can I start driving in the HOV lanes without it?
    If you do not have a decal on your vehicle than you are unable to use the HOV lane and if pulled over by a police officer, you risk getting a ticket.
  11. Where do I place the decal on my vehicle?
    The decal must be displayed from the rear bumper or rear window of your vehicle and needs to be visible to other drivers and law enforcement.
  12. My decal was damaged. How do I get a new one?
    Contact the EV HOV Program office. You will be asked to explain your situation and to provide your application information and mailing address. Once your information is confirmed, a replacement decal will be mailed to you.
  13. What happens to the EV HOV decal if I sell my electric vehicle or return it from lease?
    The EV HOV decal stays with the vehicle. If you sell or return a leased electric vehicle with the decal, the decal may remain with the vehicle and the new owner can use the vehicle with the decal, without requiring a new application. If the former owner obtains a new electric vehicle, they are required to submit a new application for an EV HOV decal.
  14. Where can I drive my electric vehicle with a decal?
    You can drive your electric vehicle (with decal) in HOV lanes. Click on graphic below for additional information on HOV lane symbols and what they mean.
  15. Can I drive in a bus lane or vanpool lane with my EV HOV decal?
    There are two types of reserved lanes in B.C. – HOV lanes and bus lanes. EVs with a decal may only drive in HOV lanes. Bus lanes are reserved for buses only. Therefore, EVs with decals cannot drive in bus lanes. A vanpool lane is a type of bus lane. EVs with decals cannot drive in vanpool lanes without meeting the posted minimum occupancy requirement.
  16. Can electric vehicles with a decal access every HOV lane in the province?
    Yes. EVs with a decal can drive in all HOV lanes in B.C. without meeting passenger number requirements (but not bus or vanpool lanes), unless a sign is posted indicating otherwise.
  17. Can I drive on HOV lanes in a municipality?
    Yes. You can drive in HOV lanes on municipal roads, unless there is a sign indicating otherwise.
  18. Where are all of the HOV lanes located in B.C.?
    Please click on this link for a map of provincial (ministry operated) HOV lanes. There may be additional HOV lanes under the jurisdiction of municipalities. Please contact the individual municipality for more information on their HOV lanes.
  19. What other vehicles are exempt from the occupancy requirements for an HOV lane?
    Other types of vehicles that do not have to meet the occupancy requirements include.

    • emergency vehicles;
    • marked vehicles that are aiding a disabled vehicle in the HOV lane;
    • peace officers while on duty;
    • taxis;
    • motorcycles;
    • HandyDART vehicles; and
    • blood services vehicles, when transporting blood.
  20. Are there plans for more HOV lanes in B.C.?
    Whenever we upgrade or construct a new highway, the Province considers the best way to move vehicles and this includes research, analysis and possible addition of HOV lanes.
  21. What will happen if too many electric vehicles use the HOV lane?
    • The ministry will continue to monitor HOV lane traffic volumes.  If a lane becomes congested, and the level of service decreases, the ministry could consider prohibiting use of the lane by electric vehicles, and post a sign indicating as such.
    • This can be done on a case by case or a highway by highway basis.
  22. What are the different types of electric vehicles (EVs)?
    • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs): These vehicles have an electric motor and are powered exclusively by electricity, unlike a hybrid car, which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency. They plug-in to charge and produce zero tailpipe emissions. A Nissan Leaf is an example of a battery electric vehicle.
    • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV): These vehicles have both an electric motor and internal combustion engine (for back-up/complimentary power). An extended range electric vehicle (EREV) is a type of PHEV. As with driving a conventional vehicle, air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are produced when PHEV is running on gasoline. However, zero emissions are produced when PHEV is running in electric mode. These vehicles plug-in to recharge. A Chevrolet Volt is an example of a plug-in hybrid.
    • Fuel-cell vehicle (FCV): Unlike a battery that stores and releases energy, this type of vehicle generates electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. FCVs fill up with hydrogen in a similar manner as a gas pump and emit only water vapour.A Hyundai Tuscon FCV is an example of a fuel cell vehicle.
    • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs): Also called “conventional hybrids.” Although this type of EV is similar to BEV and PHEV (has two types of energy storage units – electricity and fuel), the energy comes entirely from gasoline and regenerative braking. The main function of the electric motor component is to increase efficiency of the combustion engine; HEVs cannot be plugged in to be recharged.  HEVs also produce emissions at all times. Compared to traditional non-hybrid gasoline powered vehicles, HEVs produce fewer emissions due to improved efficiency of the electric motor. A Toyota Prius is an example of a conventional hybrid vehicle. Hybrid vehicles are not eligible for the EV decal program.

    Energy, consumption, and emissions from different vehicle types

    Source: http://evtalk.com/wp-content/uploads/Car-Energy-Compare-660×330.jpg

     

  23. Are there any other incentives in B.C. for electric vehicle drivers?
    The Province of B.C. has an incentive program that offers purchase rebates for battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles. See: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/electricity-alternative-energy/transportation-energies/clean-transportation-policies-programs/clean-energy-vehicle-program/cev-for-bc.

 

 

You can also contact the EV HOV Program, folks directly:
Telephone:250 356-0770
Fax:250 356-0897
Mailing Address:PO  Box  9850 STN  PROV  GOVT Victoria  BC V8W  9T5
Email:EVHOV@gov.bc.ca

Happy (and greener) trails!

Do you have a question about this or any other transportation topic? Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below and we will be happy to help.

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72 Responses to How You (and your EV) Can Get Moving in BC

  1. Bill Jackson on March 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with Chris Baxter about these big ugly decals. In US states like California, they have a much smaller and nicely styled decals to indicate clean air status called a CAV decal which gives you HOV lane privileges. You would think the program would have consulted other jurisdictions. I support clean air reduction and want to do my part to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels but do you really expect me to stick on this big ugly decal on the trunk of my new BEV?

  2. Keilan McInnis on March 24, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    My vehicle is owned by the company I work for and they reside outside of B.C. When I am filling out the registration form for the sticker, do I need to put the company information as they own the vehicle or my information as I reside in B.C.? My company is listed on the ownership. If I put my company address on the registration form, will the sticker be sent to them and not me?

    • tranbceditor on March 26, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Keilan,

      Thank you for your questions about electrical vehicle registration and stickers.

      When you apply for an Electric Vehicle in High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (EV in HOV Lanes) decal, the name of the business goes in “B. Application Information-Business”. The name of the person who is requesting the decal (an admin person at the business, usually) goes in the “Contact Name” section of B. In your email to the EV in HOV Lanes program, you can request that the decal be mailed to a home address instead of the address on the form.

  3. Anonymous on February 6, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    This is baloney. Theres hardly anyone in th hov lane anyway. They should make more exceptions or get rid of hov lanes entirely. If these lanes were allowed to be used more effectively, traffic would build up so much.My hybrid pickup should be allowed to get one of these stickers. Who cares if the engine charges the battery. Alot of the engery people use to charge their E.V.s affects the envirement much more harshly than what comes out of my pickups tailpipe.

  4. Chris Baxter on January 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Just bought an EV today… I can’t believe how much bureaucracy is required for what should be a simple transaction. Here is how a capitalist business owner would deal with this:

    When registering and receiving plates, the plates are “green” plates, just like other jurisdictions (Ontario, Quebec…). Nobody wants to put an ugly sticker on their brand new car AND wait 6 weeks for that privilege (after filling out yet more forms).

    At the very least, the sticker should be available at the dealership with car pick-up. The dealer can claim the CEV credit for us, why can’t they also provide the sticker.

    The sticker should also be small enough to fit on the plates… we have tiny stickers for date and year of insurance validity, so we have a precedent for small stickers already…

    • tranbceditor on January 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Chris and thanks for your comments. We have sent your message to the EV folks for review. I believe that the EV stickers are made larger to help with visual identification of allowed vehicles vs. vehicles which are using the lanes illegally.

    • tranbceditor on January 11, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, Chris. We’ve passed along your comments to our transportation branch responsible. We are always reviewing our processes and looking to improve and we’ll continue to do so for this. Again, we really appreciate your specific comments. It always helps.

  5. Sharon E Boyce on August 22, 2018 at 9:08 am

    It seems like an unnecessary level of bureaucracy has been created….. Would it not be easier for the ICBC approved Insurance agents to issue these decals when they issue the licence plates? The agents would check the list of approved vehicles and place the decal on the vehicle immediately versus having to complete a form and wait 3-6 weeks, thereby expediting the process for everyone.

    • tranbceditor on August 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks for your suggestion Sharon! We have shared your comment forward for consideration. There are a number of complexities to consider to ensure smooth and fair program delivery however, we are continuously exploring ways to make the EV HOV decal program more efficient, including looking at options to work with partners. Thanks again!

  6. Cam on August 11, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Hello,

    I am looking to purchase a vehicle that currently is on the HOV approaved list. (2013 Ford C-Max) as the list of approaved vehicles is updated will older vehicles be dropped from the list. If I already have a sticker and the vehicle is dropped from the list can I still use the ec sticker?

    • tranbceditor on August 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Cam – great question – we have sent to our EV/HOV expert for review. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on August 15, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Hi again Cam,

      Here’s what we heard back:
      To date, no vehicles have been dropped from the EV HOV eligibility list. As long as the vehicle is eligible and has a valid decal displayed, it can drive in the HOV lane regardless of passenger count (unless a sign is posted otherwise).
      Thanks for connecting with us here!

  7. Sheila on July 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    How do I get EV plates (as opposed to the decal)?

    • tranbceditor on July 23, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Sheila,

      Unfortunately, B.C. does not currently have EV plates. In order to access benefits from an EV decal, including driving in HOV lanes without meeting passenger requirements, drivers must have a valid decal displayed on their vehicle.

  8. Scott on May 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Its long overdue to allow EVs with a decal to use the Bus labeled lanes on either side of the Lions Gate bridge.

    Why can’t TranBC work with the City of Vancouver to include Northbound Georgia Street into Stanley Park and West Vancouver to include Marine Drive between 11th Street eastbound through the Park Royal stretch and Capilano Road Westbound to the Lions Gate Bridge? These Bus lanes are empty most of the time and allowing Electric vehicles will not increase bus travel times in either direction.

    Allowing EVs to use Bus lanes in these two “Green” Municipalities is a smart transportation decision and a great incentive to encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles.

    • tranbceditor on June 4, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Hi Scott and thank you for your comment. Approaches to Lions Gate are Bus Lane only – not HOV lanes. Permitting EVs to use Bus/queue jumper lane would mean more vehicles in the reserved lanes and thereby increases in bus travel times and delays. We hope that this makes sense. We encourage you to connect with the City of Vancouver directly at http://vancouver.ca/

  9. Taylor L. on May 10, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Hi. For the available HOV lanes for EVs, it only shows hwy 17 to 17A on northbound Hwy99. Is the HOV lanes between 17A and Messey tunnel also okay to drive with EEv decal? Thabk you.

    • tranbceditor on May 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Taylor,

      Yes, drivers with the EV decal can use the HOV lane on Hwy 99 northbound between Hwy 17A and the Massey Tunnel.

      Safe travels!

  10. Ryan on April 20, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Sorry if this has been asked already. Can EVs use HOVs on the Barnett Highway?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

    • tranbceditor on April 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Hi Ryan,

      The HOV lane on the Barnet is under the jurisdiction of the Cities of Port Moody and Burnaby. Please connect directly with them to confirm that they will allow EV travel in this lane. Here’s a list of provincial HOV /EV lanes for EV use.

      Highway 1 – westbound from east of 202 Street to Gilmore Way overpass
      Highway 1 – eastbound from Gilmore Way overpass to 208 Street overpass
      Highway 7 – westbound only east of Golden Ears Way to east of Old Dewdney Trunk Road
      Highway 17A – northbound only Ladner Trunk Road to Highway 99
      Highway 97 – northbound Pandosy Street to Highway 33
      Highway 97 – southbound Highway 33 to Pandosy Street
      Highway 99 – northbound south of Highway 17 to north of Highway 17A
      Highway 99 – southbound south of Westminster Highway to north of Steveston Highway

      https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/routes-and-driving-conditions/hov-lanes/electric-map

  11. Carson on April 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    What about enforcement? I saw in the FAQ that if the lanes become too congested the program could stop and we could lose our access to these lanes, access we’ve spent a tremendous amount of money for.

    I have a long commute daily into Vancouver via the HOV lane and I see, many, MANY vehicles in there that shouldn’t be in there every single day. As long as you don’t take an HOV only exit you can use the lanes daily with little or no risk.

    It would be nice if there was more or improved enforcement (cameras, or better patrols etc.) so the freeloaders who are in there don’t mess it up for the rest of us who paid for the privilege. Thanks!

    • tranbceditor on April 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Carson,

      Thanks for connecting with us here to share your concern. The goal of the program is to encourage people to travel in environmentally friendly ways, such as using electric cars. The perhaps understated end goal of HOV lane use and EVs is to have the majority of travel done in an environmental way, thereby eliminating the need for the special HOV lanes. Unfortunately, while we are responsible for the regulation, we aren’t responsible for the enforcement of the regulation. Depending on which HOV you are using (provincial/RCMP or municipal/police) would dictate the local authority responsible for enforcing the rule. Local authorities are aware of the issue and try to monitor and enforce illegal use of these lanes whenever they can.

  12. Akima on November 3, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Hello, was looking for clarification on whether I could use the HOV lane on Hastings and based on what I see here it appears that my E-OK approved vehicle is not allowed in this lane. That said, it would be great if TranBC work with the CIty of Vancouver to have E-OK approved vehicles allowed in this lane.

    Thanks

    Akima

  13. Matt on October 31, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Can an EV use the HOV lane before they receive the sticker? If they get stopped then the officer would just check the vehicle is on their database and allow them to move on? Or would the driver get the fine? Asking because I’m buying an EV this week and I drive from Vancouver to Langley every day and I can’t bear the thought of waiting 6 weeks for my sticker before using the HOV lane.

    • tranbceditor on October 31, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Hello Matt,

      We have good and bad news for you. We spoke with the program area folks who informed us that you have to wait for your sticker, but they told us that the processing times right now are generally much less than six weeks, so it should be less of a wait once you apply. Hope that this helps.

      • Matt on October 31, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        Thank you for the fast response. Let’s hope the sticker comes quick!

    • Matt on November 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Sending in the application as we speak. Will report back when I receive the sticker as a reference for others.

      • Matt on November 9, 2017 at 9:48 am

        Sent in the application Friday Nov 3, got the decal Tuesday Nov 7. Well done guys.

        • tranbceditor on November 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

          Nice! Have fun in your new car Matt. 🙂

  14. Sav Saran on October 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Are vehicles with the decal allowed in HOV lanes that state for bicycles and buses only? Are we allowed to drive in the HOV lane off McGill street and renfrew heading west towards highway 1? I Recently had a road rage incident where someone tried to drive me out of the HOV lane. If we’re allowed to drive here, I suggest putting up signs indicating that those driving with decal are okay to use HOV lane. People are not aware of this and this makes driving in HOV lanes super uncomfortable and stressful.

    • tranbceditor on October 30, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Hi there,

      If an HOV lane indicates bus and bicycle it is bus lane specifically which means that HOVs, including EVs are not allowed. McGill and Renfrew belong to the municipality of Vancouver and we encourage you to connect with them regarding EV use of these lanes.

      We have shared your concern with our HOV/EV program area and they confirmed that they are working on making allowable vehicles more clear via signage etc.

      Hope that this helps.

  15. Trish on September 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Hi, I clicked on this link below in the FAQs section to find more info re the incentive and can’t find, can you advise please?
    Thanks
    Trish

    The B.C. government has an incentive program that offers up to $5,000 for battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

    • tranbceditor on September 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Trish,

      Thanks for letting us know. Here’s the link to more information: https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/electric-vehicles/owning-an-electric-vehicle/rebates-and-incentives.html and we will update the link in the blog with this as well. Let us know if you have any other questions.

    • tranbceditor on September 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Trish,

      We asked the local area manager who informed us that The RCMP used to put a sticker on the driver side mirror indicating it was cleared for towing. It also confirmed with us that it had been sitting for longer than 72 hours, thus allowing us to act.
      However, somebody complained about the sticker and so it was replaced with a glass wax pencil. That lasted a very short time.

      He has not seen them mark a vehicle as abandoned for quite some time and believes they discontinued the practice. However, he did confirm that they do put All Clear tape on a vehicle that has been inspected so they don’t continue to receive calls about a vehicle off the road.

      Hope that this helps!

  16. Shane on April 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    The Port Mann Bridge offers a discount to high occupancy vehicles travelling in the HOV lane. Will registered EV cars with only one passenger also be able to receive this discount?

    • tranbceditor on April 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Shane,

      If you purchase a vehicle that is eligible for the Electric Vehicles in HOV Lanes program, and receive a decal allowing you to travel in HOV lanes, you would be eligible for the Port Mann Bridge HOV lane discounts. Hope that this helps!

  17. Dave Jones on March 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I am totally confused and let down by the lack of approval for “converted” electric cars to be allowed to use HOV lanes. The folks who drive converted electric cars (IE 100% Battery or BEV) are the original pioneers of this green effort, desiring to eliminate CO spewing cars from the road long before the major manufacturers took notice. The owners of these cars, myself included, went to enormous brute force effort to do these conversions, and are more conscientious and promoting as to the benefits of this technology. Some proudly emblazoning their vehicles with giant “ELECTRIC POWERED” logos and such, and sometimes even painting them green. What better promotion for the Government and fledging EV industry to have such a vehicle zipping past polluting cars in the HOV lane ?

    I believe the BC government should allow HOV lane applications for converted vehicles – as long as the vehicle registration fuel code indicates an “E” for electric shouldn’t that be enough ?

    Even though the web site states its about reward EV drivers for their sustainable Eco practices, in this case its more like a punishment.

    I look forward to hearing back about this. Thanks for your assistance !

    • tranbceditor on March 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We have sent your question forward to the program manager for review and hope to have a response for you very soon. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on March 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Dave,

      At this time, the electric vehicle in HOV lanes designation is available to the same vehicles that are on the Clean Energy Vehicle Program list (https://www.cevforbc.ca/eligible-cevforbc%E2%84%A2-vehicles). As you note, these are all original equipment manufacturer electric vehicles, and do not include conversions. While we recognize the pioneering efforts of those who have converted vehicles to electric, it is challenging to verify that conversions are maintained to be electric throughout the vehicle’s registered life. However, your comment will be considered as we move forward with the electric vehicles in HOV lanes program.

  18. Ken Hobson on February 27, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Why aren’t gas-hybrids cars (not trucks/SUVs) allowed in HOV lane with decal? Government pushes people to purchase them but restricts them ! It’s like wear your seat belt it saves lives ! But make a killing on taxes by selling cigarettes ! Double standard ??

    • tranbceditor on February 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Ken. The blog explains that gas-hybrids offer a more fuel-efficient technology than pure gas vehicles, but due to the high number of gas-hybrid vehicles currently registered in the province, our analysis indicates that allowing them to use HOV lanes would have a negative impact on the HOV lane’s level of service.

  19. Steven on February 2, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I was pulled over by police on Hastings street. I was heading west in the HOV lane and was just two blocks into Vancouver. This is not a bus lane but is an HOV lane. They said my EV was not allowed in this HOV lane. The police guy told me that there are two kinds of HOV lanes; provincial and municipal. he said I was not allowed on municipal HOV lanes, only provincial like Highway One. he let me off with a warning thankfully, but it was a shock as I never knew this. I’m still not sure I believe it. Is it true?

    • tranbceditor on February 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Hi Steven. For those HOV lanes under the jurisdiction of a municipality, the local government will determine if electric vehicles can use the lanes. If not authorized, a sign will be posted.

  20. Tamara on January 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Hi,

    Are EVs with the decal allowed to use the HOV labeled lanes on either side of the Lions Gate bridge?

    • tranbceditor on January 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Hi Tamara,

      There are two types of High Capacity Vehicle Lanes in BC: HOV Lanes and Bus Lanes. A person driving an electric vehicle that does not meet the passenger number requirements but displays an official “EV OK” decal is permitted to use HOV Lanes. They are not permitted to use Bus Only Lanes. It is important that EV drivers examine the signs closely to ensure they are using HOV Lanes and not Bus Lanes. Hope that this helps.

  21. Stephen on December 11, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I can understand allowing EVs access to HOV lanes, but don’t quite understand the rationale in allowing Hybrid vehicles access, given that they still burn hydrocarbons. But let’s leave that aside for now.

    Reviewing your rationale for allowing these types of vehicles on HOV lanes regardless of number of passengers, I’m wondering why motorcycles are allowed on some bus HOV lanes…more specifically, the north end of the Lions Gate bridge? Can you explain your rationale? They burn hydrocarbons and while it may be less than a not hybrid or EV vehicle, they still take up a car length when moving on to the bridge. Please, explain?

    • tranbceditor on December 20, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your question. We have sent it forward to our HOV experts and will get back to you with an answer as soon as we have it.

    • tranbceditor on December 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Hello,

      Motorcycles are allowed to use some bus lanes because they do not make up a large proportion of vehicles on our road system and take up less space in the lane than passenger vehicles. Motorcycles also have less crash protection than passenger vehicles so are allowed in HOV and some bus lanes as a way to increase motorcycle operator safety.

      Electric vehicles are not permitted in bus lanes because the increase in the number of vehicles in these lanes would increase bus travel times.

      Hope that this helps!

  22. Ali Miri on December 8, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I have BMW I3 with appropriate EV OK decal. My question is can I drive on HOV lanes that I only for buses.
    Specifically, I am wondering about the stretch on Hastings, west of Boundary Rd to Downtown area.

    Thank You

    • tranbceditor on December 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Hello Ali,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. The Hastings Street corridor, including signage, is a municipal street and under the jurisdiction of the City of Vancouver. We encourage you to contact them directly about this question. Here is a link to their contact info: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-the-city-of-vancouver.aspx

      Hope that this helps!

      • Mike wightman on August 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        Hi there,

        Can someone please confirm or update the response to a previous question about HOV lane access for electric vehicles along Hastings street? I would be wondering if HOV lane access is permitted going East or West along Hastings from exiting Barnett Highway at Inlet Dr. and Hastings, to Hastings and Nanaimo St. in Vancouver.

        Thanks,

        Mike.

        • tranbceditor on September 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

          Hi Mike,

          Hastings Street is under the jurisdiction of the cities it runs through. Please connect with the City of Burnaby regarding the portion of Hastings Street near Barnet and the City of Vancouver for the portion near Nanaimo street. Hope that this helps.

  23. Bill Langlais on November 24, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Thanks!

  24. Bill Langlais on November 23, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I am an american living in BC from November through Aprl as a Tourist. My car is registered in Massachusetts. It is a Tesla and Mass license plates for Electric Vehicles start with EV and have the EV symbol on the license plate. Is this enough to drive in the HOV lane? If not can a US registered EV car drive in the HOV lane?

    Thanks for any info!

    • Bill Langlais on November 23, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Sorry that last question was suppose to be:

      Can a US registered car apply for a EV decal?

    • tranbceditor on November 24, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Hi Bill,

      We are looking into this for you. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on November 28, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Hi Bill,

      You are more than welcome to apply for an HOV decal. We have sent them as far as Arizona. If you need assistance, please contact EVHOV@gov.bc.ca (contact updated January 12, 2018)

  25. L.J. on August 30, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Specific question:
    I have an EV with the appropriate decal.
    May I legally use the restricted bus/van pool/ motorcycle lane entering both ends of the Lions Gate Bridge???
    I have seen many Taxi’s, Medical vehicles and Testas doing so, but I would like clarification.
    Thank-you for your assistance with this…

  26. Mike Scholz on August 10, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Can I drive in the bus lane/van pool lane with my EV while displaying a sticker

    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Hi Mike,

      Good question! We asked the folks responsible for this program and, unfortunately, bus/van lanes are restricted to buses and vans only. Thanks for connecting with us here and if you have any other questions, let us know.

  27. Steve on July 27, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Tesla cars by definition are 100% electric: could you consider allowing this brand HOV access without the sticker? Teslas are distinctive enough and I imagine our officers are trained to recognize cars on sight. While the access is a welcome benefit, I’m sorry to say the sticker is unfortunately quite ugly.

    • tranbceditor on July 28, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Hi Steve,

      I’m checking in with our folks about your proposal of not using the electronic vehicle sticker, while driving in the HOV lane. (Sorry you find it visually unappealing).

      • tranbceditor on August 2, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        Hi Steve,

        Regulations state that all vehicles in the HOV lane that qualify for this program must have a decal on the vehicle’s rear window or rear bumper. The decal provides law enforcement personnel with a consistent marker to distinguish between vehicles that are eligible for the EV-HOV program and those that are not eligible.

  28. Eva on July 26, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I believe for most of them who are buying the EVs, they really need to drive for a long way as daily uses.

    Just confusing why the process is taking this long time to be completed. Since some EVs need to be ordered and waited for 2-3 months to be delivered, and then we need to wait for an other six weeks or more to apply for the decal and actually get it, which means EV owners need to figure out by themselves how to drive on the packed highways everyday in at least two months…either use GAS (as an EREV, I am glad I got this type of EV) or charge on the way to work/home for half hours or longer…

    We are a little regret to support green environment and get an EV because we have been waiting for 2 months for decal even we applied it two weeks before we actually get the car……..

    Still have not received yet.

    • tranbceditor on July 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Eva,

      Thanks for letting us know about your concern with getting your electric vehicle sticker. I checked with the program administrator about the status of your application. It has been approved and the sticker has been put in the mail, so you should be receiving it shortly. Thanks for your patience.

  29. ken on July 8, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    will that be possible using H.O.V entrance or exit ? How long it will takes to get DECAL.I want to make sure.

    • tranbceditor on July 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Ken, Thanks for your questions about HOV decals. I am checking into this and will get back to you.

    • tranbceditor on July 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Ken,

      It takes between three and six weeks to provide the HOV decal, after we have received a complete application.

      I am not sure what you are asking in the first part of your post, “will that be possible using H.O.V entrance or exit?” Could you please explain?

      Best Regards

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