An update at least a year-and-a-half in the making, General Motors has just started delivering 2012 Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in models that are eligible for California customers to drive alone in that state's high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes, as the automaker looks to spur sales from the most populous U.S. state.

In addition to HOV-lane access thanks to enhAT-PZEV designation, 2012 Chevrolet Volt buyers can be eligible for a $1,500 California rebate in addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit. About 140 California Chevrolet dealers will be carrying the vehicle by the end of the month. Meanwhile, the state is producing 40,000 Clean Air stickers that will give 2012 Volt drivers solo HOV lane access. Volt buyers in Georgia, Florida and New York can also get solo HOV-lane access in those states.

GM is looking to spur Volt sales in California, which accounts for about 10 percent of the country's population. Earlier this month, GM started offering a so-called "Quad $0" lease program on Volts made last year, meaning that customers would be able to lease the car without having to come up with a downpayment, a security deposit, the first month's payment or any cash upon sale. Those Volts are not eligible for solo HOV-lane access.

Last month, GM sold just 603 Volts, down 61 percent from its monthly-record 2011. The automaker aimed for 10,000 Volt sales last year but fell short at 7,671 vehicles.
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2012 Chevrolet Volt Cleared for California's Carpool Lanes
Low Emissions Package model certified for special driving privilege and rebate
2012-02-23

DETROIT – A low emission model of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car are on their way to California, where customers will qualify for a $1,500 state rebate and be allowed to drive solo in the state's carpool lanes.

Volts with the Low Emissions Package, which is standard for California, began shipping from the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck plant this week and should begin arriving at the more than 140 participating Chevrolet dealerships in California before the end of the month.

"The Volts with the Low Emissions Package are certain to be a strong draw for California commuters looking to travel the state's notoriously congested freeways in the carpool lane," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.

Commuters who use carpool lanes in Southern California save an estimated average 36 minutes a day, or about a third of their total driving time.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is making 40,000 Clean Air Stickers available for registered vehicles that meet the state's emissions standards. Applications can be downloaded from the DMV's web site at www.dmv.ca.gov

Additionally, the new Low Emissions Package makes the 2012 Volt eligible for owners and lessees to receive up to $1,500 in state rebates through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. This incentive is in addition to a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 Clean vehicle rebate applications can be submitted online at www.energycenter.org

California has more than 1,400 miles of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. Originally restricted to vehicles with two or more occupants to help minimize congestion, the lanes are now open to single occupancy use by owners of advanced, low-emission vehicles. Volts registered in Georgia, New York and Florida also are eligible for single occupancy access to carpool lanes.

The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas-and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank. Volt owners have travelled more than 10 million miles since the vehicle launched late last year. Roughly two-thirds of those miles were powered by grid electricity.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      S
      • 2 Years Ago
      “Chevy runs Deep” into the taxpayers pocket. Chevy Volt. GE is sitting on windmills waiting to be subsidized so they can provide unreliable, expensive power. Soon after his appointment by Obama, Immelt announced that GE will buy 50,000 Volts in the next two years, or half the total produced. As the corporation qualifies for the same tax credit, we just shelled out $375,000,000, $7500 per car , to a company to buy cars that no one else wants, so that GM will not tank and produce even more cars that no one wants. And this guy is the chair of Obama’s Economic Advisory Board?
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S
        STFU with your incredible nonsense. Use your brain, stop believing all you see on TV.
      Richard Lam
      • 2 Years Ago
      The quad 0 lease deal was good enough for me to drop my 2012 HOV volt deposit and pick up a 3 year lease on an existing model in stock. I am absolutely in love my Volt which I'm only paying $340/month for a fully loaded model! Sure I lose the HOV lane sticker (and low emissions package), but since I'm stuck in traffic, my MPGe went up to 195!!! I was able to get 60 miles on a charge due to the stop and go traffic on Southern California! I know I'd definitely run the engine on my 50 mile commute from work to school to charging station, but since you get such great efficiency at lower speeds, hey it works out! I have barely touched my engine so far (despite a 93 mile single day commute) due to the vast number of charging stations in SoCal that I don't need to worry about those emissions most of the time! My Volt stats - 3 MPGcs because I basically haven't used it! https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard Lam
        Richard, try raising your tire pressure to 38 or 40 PSI. You may increase your MPC even more!
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I were GM's publicity dept, I would put a bunch of demos on the road, spending all their time passing congestion in the 3rd lane.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I live in Northern California and have been thinking about buying a Volt. I think they retail for about $42k, and assuming the sales tax is about 10%, that's another $4k. That's amusing to me, as my used car is worth about half the sales tax on a Volt. Anyway, assume another $2k of mysterious fees and dealer markups, and now I'm up to: 42 + 4 + 2 = $48k. With $9k of tax credits, we're still looking at a $39k car. With my solar panels, I pay $0 for electrical. But I only drive 7,000 miles / year. My 1997 Prism gets around 30 mpg, and let's assume gas is $5 / gallon, so that's 7000/30 =233 gallons = $1200 / year in gas savings. Long time to make up the difference.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        From a pure numbers standpoint you should keep your Prism till it dies boberonicus, with repairs keeping it going as long as possible. Buying a new car has never made financial sense compared to just keeping a used vehicle (short of massive repair costs for the used vehicle). From a numbers standpoint the 1st generation plug-ins don't make financial sense compared to a cheap new small car - but they shouldn't, they're 1st generation technology and its expensive like all 1st generation technology. I doubt they'll be comparable in price till 3rd generation (2020) at the earliest. The only reason someone would buy a plug-in is for something more important to them than the numbers (and they have the money to do so) like one or more of the following for example - they don't like sending money to Hugo Chavez, they don't like sending money to Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from), they like having for the first time in history the ability to affect US energy policy (which hasn't changed for decades) at the personal level, they don't like contributing to the biggest part (50%) of the US trade deficit, they want to decrease smog (i.e. increase air quality), or they care about CO2 and on and on. It's the people who are buying the car for a reason(s) beyond a cheap ride that will buy plug-ins for the first generation or two. Everyone else can just wait till the scales tip towards making sense for them, with you being an example of that kind of consumer (it makes no sense for you financially).
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          Couldn't reply to you below boberonicus (only allows so many levels of replies down), but your right. Compare it to a low to mid level Lexus and then we're talking the same pricing area - and the plug-ins at this point have their downsides (4 seats only in the Volt, 70 miles range in the Leaf, no trunk in the Focus Electric) that will gradually be addressed with the next generations. If you can afford a Tesla Model S then you can afford a no compromise EV, but that isn't there yet at the lower end. If you're buying one though, your probably buying it for a reason related to that plug, not because its a nicer car than the Lexus.
          gpmp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          For all the reasons for someone to buy a plug-in, the killer app is this: If I drive a traditional car I can't make its fuel. If I drive a plug-in I can. I remember the oil embargo of the 70's
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          You're 100% right, I'm not really comparing apples to apples. To be fair, I'd compare the Volt to, say, a low to mid-level Lexus? So then we're talking roughly the same final price?
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        Buying a new car costs money. Go figure. If you're paying dealer markups on a car, you should read up on some car buying negotiation tactics. The only noticeable fee beyond the price of the car and sales tax you should be paying would be the DMV registration on the car. I looked up the total government fees on a $42K Volt sold in Richmond, California on todays date using the DMV calculator. $354 DMV fee. $210 use tax to Richmond (you wouldn't pay this if don't actually buy it in Richmond, I just picked a city in Nor Cal for you) $3465 sales tax. Total fees/taxes: $4029. So that's $46K minus $9K in tax credits. Still a big chunk of cheddar.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          It isn't too hard to get a decent deal (get fees off at least). I mean these guys do actually want to sell cars. I had to learn how to do it, I got totally taken on my first new car. I did fine with the salesman but then got creamed in the F&I office.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Good points about the fees, and I will admit to being a very poor negotiator. Picked up 100 shares of Ford to get X-plan pricing a couple of years ago when the Fusion Hybrid was first announced but never actually test drove / purchased one.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        why would you ever pay dealer markup? you're doing it wrong.
        VoltOwner
        • 2 Years Ago
        $39,995 for the base model, IIRC. There are plenty of dealers selling at or below MSRP, especially on the older model that does not qualify for HOV access. Finding a base model is sort of a problem though, so 42K is about right for MSRP. Several colors are $$$ options, while other colors are not available due to the tsunami in Japan making the pigments very scarce at the moment. Go drive one, you won't regret that. I cannot imagine driving a Prism for that long, I ended up selling mine back to GM after only a year (of one problem after another). I have only used about 2 gallons since June, and driven over 5000 miles.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      About time GM. This should positively affect Volt sales in CA (getting that HOV lane access is a big deal for alot of potential customers there). It's incomprehensible that GM came to market without it (obviously not understanding a big chunk of that market) considering how it pushed Prius and Civic Hybrid sales there when they were eligible for HOV lane stickers.
        Roy_H
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Chevrolet did want the first generation Volt to qualify for PZEV, but just didn't make it.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      So does every Volt buyer get a 10 year, 150,000 mile warranty now? If not, and I were a Volt buyer, I'd go to California to buy one.
      Herman Blackman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Union thug Obama and his NLRB have convinced me to stay away from union made products. A Toyota made in a good ol right to work state will do just fine. In the last 4 years i have spent around 300k on new GM cars and trucks . No more. Sold my last Chev 6 mos ago. Shame on the greedy union bosses. I really liked that 09 Z 06 . Was looking at a 2010 ZR1 Till we found out Obama was in bed with the corrupt union bosses.
      Gary
      • 2 Years Ago
      Could you just buy a 2011 volt and make your own hov stickers? How would they know the difference?
      nosoupforyou
      • 2 Years Ago
      High gas prices plus new California incentives - it's the perfect storm for sales of the Volt.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      Between the Quad 0 and the new HOV qual'ed Volts, GM should have a great run in CA for the next month or two. I am hoping that they have another record month for US sales in February but with the shutdown it will be hard to do. But as long as they sell 1000+ this month it sets them up nicely for another record amount of Volts sold in March. Volts, Leafs and FFE's, it is all good.
      • 2 Years Ago
      IMMELT of GE, who is also Obamas appointed board economic advisor, ordered 50,000 VOLTS from GM at a cost of Tax Credits $375,000,000. to me, you, ALL the Taxpayers. And he just bought all the employees new cars early 2011 that he has to sell, dump whatever!!! SO, GM owes us money still on Bailouts, now getting BIG ORDER from GEs Immelt who is Obamas appointed guy. this is nothing but more corrupt Cronyism with US paying for it again and again and again. Every Volt sold, Taxpayers are paying for the Tax Credit!!! BS..like the Cash for Clunkers deal we all paid for. Obama wants to brag to any stupid American that will believe him, that HE doesn't have to Drill for Oil, because all the Volts will fill our streets and cost loads of money for the electricity!!! More Big Gov't. , more Cronyism, More Corruption. Lots of trouble with the 2011 model which is why can't get the special deal, so the 2012 model is not a proven car at all yet. AND even with the tax credit I have to pay for again, it is an expensive car. Our Electric Grids are old and already can't handle the problems we have using too much A/C and too much electric....my electric bills keep going up, and will continue. SO...besides the corruption between Gov't., Union & GM and all owing us taxpayers money, Not so sure IF it will end up being a good deal or not. or FOR whom? Taxpayers are paying for tax credit, which means YOU that buy a Volt, will really be paying for that Tax Credit. IT is NOT FREE. Obama just pushing his buddy to buy huge amount, so he can brag during campaign time, how great he is doing with Electric cars, windmills, hot air and oh his jar of Algae, that may work in another 50 years. FIGURE out how many Miles you drive per day/month compared to the gas price. (don't forget the higher fed.tax on the gas that gov't. is getting now). And then total up cost of Volt, tax, fees, registration and most likely you will stay pay a good $39,000.00 for car. Then the electericity cost to plug it in at your home all night, and figure out what you save, gas compared to all the new costs. HEY, look up on this page at TESLA Roadsters problems, $100,000.00 car that OBAMA, WE, also gave them money. It is all a very expensive corrupt, unconstitutional bunch of BS, that this Gov't. is making us, the Taxpayers continue paying for Business that HE chooses @ a Loss..We will stay poor a long time.
        jjmcavoy.law
        • 2 Years Ago
        How much have we taxpayers spent in blood and treasure to assure the oil shipping lanes stay open and crowded?
      S
      • 2 Years Ago
      • Oil bashing liberals use plenty of oil and are the first to complain about high gas prices and the Keystone Pipeline . They live in big houses and all drive cars . Some drive Hybrid cars which require components that are energy intense to produce , heavy wire and batteries, and would go nowhere without gas and oil. The guy who built their house could not haul a toilet in a prius so he has a truck to do the heavy work. Liberals stick their nose in the air when they see the builder in his full size truck. All of obama 's energy investments are losers , Solyndra and the like. Oil does the heavy work and will always be in demand. A solar powered logging truck, earthmover and the like will never happen in our life time if ever.
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S
        @ S, It's true that some commentators on ABG are a little unrealistic when it comes to Oil, indulging in and extreme and overly emotional comments. However, EV trucks are starting to be produced, and progress is being made with developing heavy transport hybrids. Your comment, " Oil does the heavy work and will always be in demand. A solar powered logging truck, earthmover and the like will never happen in our life time if ever." must be based on a fairly short life expectancy! Oil may well always be in demand, but that's just the problem! The supply of Oil is finite, and although there is some debate about the timing, no one can ignore the inevitable outcome of oil depletion! Oil companies,auto-companies, governments, environmentalists, investors, etc, every rational person is seeking alternatives to the problems of oil depletion. EV's (and hybrids) help to preserve Oil reserves for more important and valuable oil product, instead of wasting such a precious resource, as gasoline for transport. Never, say never...!
        jjmcavoy.law
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S
        "S", If you must subject us to your Luddite rant, at least you should attribute your sources for making these otherwise baseless tirades.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S
        " They live in big houses and all drive cars . Some drive Hybrid cars which require components that are energy intense to produce , heavy wire and batteries, and would go nowhere without gas and oil. " Oh oh, that's interesting. According to this half-baked moron, liberals all live in big houses and all drive cars. And hybrids pollute more than Hummers "due to heavy wire and batteries". Of course. Keep smoking that stuff man.
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