General Motors appears to be looking to spur sales of its Chevrolet Volt by offering potential California customers a chance to lease the $40,000 extended-range plug-in vehicle with no cash down, GreenCarReports.com said, citing a California Chevrolet dealer.

GM is offering a so-called "Quad $0" lease program on the Volt, in which leasing the car requires no down payment, no security deposit, no first-month's payment and no cash due upon sale, the website said, citing Randall Baum at Quality Chevrolet in Escondido, CA. That program gives those interested in driving the car a chance to lease one for as little as $369 a month with no cash down.

General Motors spokesman Robert Peterson confirmed the lease program, though said it would apply only to the Volts already produced and not the ones that GM's making this year. The latter Volts will qualify for stickers that let solo drivers in high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, whereas the older Volts under the "Quad $0" program do not. Peterson also said there were no plans to make that program available outside of California.

GM appears to be looking to spur Volt sales in the most populous U.S. state in the wake of a January where sales totaled 603 vehicles, down 61 percent from its monthly-record December 2011. Last year, GM sold 7,671 Volts, down substantially from its 10,000-unit target and 2,003 units less than the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle.

In addition to trying to sell a car with a pricetag that's about $7,000 more than the Leaf, the U.S. automaker is also dealing with safety concerns related to the Volt. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test last summer of a Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in resulted in a fire three weeks later, though NHTSA said last month that its probe into the incident proved that electric-drive vehicles were no more a fire risk than conventional cars. GM also recently launched an ad campaign vouching for the car's safety.


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