The way General Motors will deal with the separate emissions regulations for California and the rest of the U.S. is by offering the Chevrolet Volt in at different powertrain flavors by 2012. Tony Posawatz, the vehicle line director for the Volt, explained these three slightly different powertrains to AutoblogGreen:
- First, we'll have the standard, 50-state Volt that is coming out later this year.
- We'll also get a version that meets California's Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (enh-ATPZEV) standard
- Finally, there will be an E85-capable Volt
Posawatz also talked about how the Volt will attempt to prevent overloading the local grid. The Volt's software charging options allow drivers to set up a "charge by departure time." This option will then pick a random time between the present and your departure time to start charging the battery. By choosing a random time, instead of kicking in as soon as nighttime rates begin, the system will stagger the times when all the plugged-in cars on the block draw down a lot of juice. In effect, Posawatz said, this will prevent a new evening spike while still making sure your car has a full battery when you need it for work in the morning. This is not a new idea (see an in-depth paper on the idea here), but it is a good one.