EV Love Letters: Why we love EV HOV lane access and toll reductions

EV Life | Updated

HOV sticker on a car

We love EV living at ChargePoint. When we say love, we mean love. From saving time by charging at home to saving money with fewer service trips and scheduled charging in the app. From the environmental benefits of going electric to joining a growing global community — not to mention a smoother, quieter ride — what’s not to love about EVs?

Another reason to love EV living? Access to HOV lanes and toll reductions. Here’s a handy guide to help you find out where you can get in the HOV lane or save on tolls with an EV.

Can EVs use HOV lanes? Why are they great for EV drivers?

Some new and prospective EV drivers ask whether electric vehicles can drive in HOV lanes. Great news: access to HOV lanes and toll reductions are two of the many benefits of switching to an EV. Many EV drivers choose to go electric for access to time-saving HOV lanes. HOV stands for high-occupancy vehicle, and many places reserve HOV lanes for carpools with multiple people. A growing number of states are letting EVs with only one driver access HOV lanes to promote EV ownership and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Studies in Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle show that drivers with HOV lane access save significant time in their commutes. A number of states also offer EV drivers toll reductions to reduce the cost of commuting and further support EV ownership. With a simple sticker or special license plate, EV drivers across the country can skip traffic and charge, drive and live even better than before.

US states with HOV lane access

Which states offer EVs HOV lane access?

From Utah and Arizona to Georgia and New Jersey, 12 states and counting offer EV drivers a range of HOV lane access options as of August 2023. Say hello to skipping traffic while you’re commuting or road-tripping, whether you’re surrounded by the red rocks of Arizona or driving along the balmy beaches of North Carolina. Here’s the full list of states that currently give HOV lane access to EVs:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Read more here or see the detailed table below. (A fun fact for Canadians: BC offers EV drivers HOV lane access as well.)

How do I get HOV lane access for my EV?

Each state has its own approach to managing EV access to HOV lanes, so make sure to look up the rules for your state of residence. As you navigate the process of applying for your special decal or license plates for your EV, keep the following in mind.

  • Permits go with the EV, not the owner. If you sell your EV, the permit goes with it.
  • Qualifying models for HOV lane programs may vary by state; check your state's official transportation website for local requirements.
  • Programs may be open to a limited number of participants, so apply early.

What’s next?

If not now, when? Invest in your future and buy an EV. Apply for HOV lane access in your home state and enjoy another benefit of going electric.

If you don’t have HOV lane access for EVs in your state or province, consider advocating for this beneficial policy with help from the GoEV movement. And don’t forget about all the other great incentives for going electric, like EV rebates, tax breaks and home charging rebates.

So sit back, set the cruise control and enjoy the freedom and convenience of driving electric in the carpool lane. Whether you’re heading out on your next great road trip, zooming to the office or running errands, feel good knowing you’re saving time and money with your EV.

Better yet? Smile at the other EV drivers joining you, knowing you’re part of a growing community of EV drivers changing the way we charge, drive and live for the better.

EV HOV access by state

State Approach Qualification
Arizona HOV exemption License plate
California  HOV and high-occupancy toll (HOT) exemption Decal
Colorado HOV exemption Decal and HOV toll transponder
Florida HOV exemption Annual decal
Georgia HOV and HOT exemption License plate
Hawaii HOV exemption License plate
Maryland  HOV exemption  Decal
New Jersey Partial HOV exemption None
New Jersey 10% HOT discount Toll transponder
New York HOV exemption and 10% HOT discount  Sticker and toll transponder registration
North Carolina HOV exemption None
Utah HOV exemption Decal or plate
Virginia HOV exemption License plates


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