L.A. County Toll Lanes No Longer Free for Electric Vehicles

You would think Los Angeles was all cool and hip and wanted people to drive electric vehicles.

One of the big gets for electric car companies or major automakers who also sell electric vehicles is that it allows drivers to drive along the toll roads in Los Angeles County for free. This little push is enough for some car buyers to invest in an electric car, like a Tesla, so they can save on time and, in the long run, money.

But now that's coming to a close as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority just slashed that little gem, basically doing away with the incentive for some drivers interested in electric vehicles.


Encouraging electric vehicles is something that seems synonymous with California, but in fact this passed 10-1 in the County agency. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids get special green stickers that allow them access on toll roads and carpool lanes for free, even with just one occupant inside. The reason why the hammer has come down? The lanes have gotten even more clogged with these kinds of cars. Go figure.

Traffic Trouble

The tolls will go into effect later this year and no one is exempt. Even those who bought electric vehicles and plug-ins for just this incentive won't be able to continue to use their sticker. The County has noted that the number of plug-in cars in the 110 toll lanes has doubled during morning commutes since January of 2016. While clean air cars have helped the environment, it's causing more traffic trouble than intended.

Contrary to the original goals of the plan, Los Angeles Metro has reported that overall emissions from the highway have increased. More cars on the toll lanes, even though they're electric vehicles, means more traffic on the rest of the highway lanes.

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