By on February 24, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt has been lauded as America’s answer to global warming. But it isn’t green enough to get the coveted California Clean Air decal. Apart from the feel-good effect, that sticker comes with a $1,500 rebate, courtesy of the State of California, and the privilege of driving solo in the state’s carpool lanes. GM is doing something about that. 

Volts with a special Low Emissions Package began shipping from the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck plant this week and should begin arriving at Chevrolet dealerships in California before the end of the month. The Low Emissions Package will be standard in California.

All other states receive the regular Volt with less green.

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29 Comments on “California Gets Greener Volt...”

  • avatar

    What a bunch of nonsense!

  • avatar

    One wonders what you all would say if Volt’s, I don’t know, starting bricking themselves?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Hardly likely, as the battery leaves quite a lot of capacity dedicated to maintaining safe charge and ensuring that it’ll operate for the length of the warranty.

      Plus, its replacement is $3k rather than $40k, though that probably requires you giving them your spent battery.

      Additionally, IIRC the parking brake is powered off of the 12v system, so if it gets bad enough that the 12v battery discharges completely you could swap that out at Pep Boys and at least get your accessories running to the point you could put it in neutral.

      (Yes, the Volt has a 12v battery in the trunk for accessories, and there’s a DC-DC converter off of the big battery)

  • avatar

    So, the givebacks are $7500 plus $1500 plus the value one assigns to unrestricted HOV lane use. Perhaps that’s $5000?

    Will total support of perhaps $14K move the needle on Volt sales?

    It also seems that Volt production took a surprisingly long vacation. The DetNews reported yesterday that Volt production had restarted. Shutdown time at Detroit-Hamtramck probably approached two months. Clearly, GM isn’t worried about unfulfilled demand.

  • avatar

    I think they should rename these different versions by their original names – the Edsel Corsair and the Edsel Ranger.

  • avatar

    “This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts.”

    John Galt

    • 0 avatar

      You’re right John. This country was built by men who stood up and *took* those handouts away from the poor and destitute. Snatched them right out of baby Uncle Sam’s tiny little fists and then went home to beat on some slaves.

      • 0 avatar

        Right-o! The transcontinental railroads didn’t ask for handouts, only for title to half the land adjoining their lines. The airlines didn’t ask for handouts, just publicly built airports and military-trained pilots and military-proven hardware. This Internet wasn’t built with handouts, just government research programs. Otherwise, John Wayne and John Galt did it all by themselves!

    • 0 avatar

      “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.“

    • 0 avatar

      SHH! Don’t you know that pesky self reliance thing is so old? The kiddies need their nanny state and you’re making them feel bad about it.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    IIRC Volts sold in states that also require CARB can qualify as well, as long as they have the CA package.

    Kinda silly that that wasn’t factored into the design in the first place, assuming CARB didn’t go changing the standard out from underneath GM.. Most of the time these standards have some lead time for discussion and implementation.. Even if CARB-compliance was an option for mine I wouldn’t have paid extra for it, as I don’t live in CA and I don’t intend to spend any time in CA that isn’t fully reimbursed by my company..

    • 0 avatar

      The gestation period for the Volt was so long that, yes the standards for HOV lane stickers and probably taxpayer subsidy changed. HOV yellow sticker program for hybrids expired already. Pure electics and dedicated CNG cars get white HOV stickers, which are still valid. Plug-in hybrids still have a gasoline engine, so the Volt would not qualify. I dont know what changed with the standard and Volt design, but I think there was some negotiation between GM and CARB for this to happen.

      • 0 avatar

        Yup. GM’s darling child now gets to ride in the special lane, while the Prius doesn’t. Take THAT, Toyota!

      • 0 avatar

        @Nikita — I think part of the complexity came from issues surrounding the AT-PZEV standards, which weren’t designed for plug-ins. Some of those had to do with warranty coverage; others had to do with emissions output when the gasoline engine is running.

        @RedmondJP — the Prius Plug-in qualifies for the green sticker, just like the Volt.

  • avatar

    Why doesn’t GM just switch ALL volts over to be compliant with the more-strict standards? Because they may lose say, $250 in profit on each? Typical…

  • avatar

    When the Volts first came out, I remember trying to get a test drive in one with the Robert Farago school of thought — test drive it your own self, from a dealer lot.

    At the time, I was told, if I wasn’t pre-ordering to buy the Volt, I would be waiting until 2013, because they had pre-sold the production run for several years into the future.

    So, I’m thinking, maybe next January, I can get a test drive on that, assuming supply exists.

    • 0 avatar

      Sold out? Wishful thinking on their part.

      The local Chevy dealer was happy to let me take it for a ride. I admitted I was not in the market but merely curious to try it out. They were happy to oblige on that basis.

      If you really want to try one out, there shouldn’t be any problem finding a dealer to cooperate. However, it seems like some dealers are no longer stocking Volts, so you may find it more difficult to locate one nearby. In December or so, 17-ish dealers in this area had Volts on offer, about 45 Volts, all told. As of now it’s just 9 dealers and 30 Volts among them.

      • 0 avatar

        If the car’s good but saddled with a high price despite all the government incentives, it sure seems like GM could do worse than to try to get these onto dealer lots as test drive cars, and then try to lease them as a way to prove out the technology and remove the stigma. I remember they put Regals out on Buick lots as test drive cars with big “not for sale – test drive only” permanent decals on them.

      • 0 avatar

        Kixstart you proof why the Volt is a success. You entered a dealership to take a test drive. Maybe you were seduced to buy a different Chevrolet, maybe not. But it is still cheaper than a clown with balloons.

    • 0 avatar

      But, they are sold out according to Government Motors!

      Remember, they have 50 thousand orders to fill and if we don’t count the 4400 of them still for sale

      then GM sales are brisk baby!

  • avatar

    Why can’t we open the HOV lane for cars of a certain MPG rating? 35 and up? Ride the diamonds!

    • 0 avatar

      Why don’t we just open up the HOV lanes to cars with 2, 3, or 4 (depending on the initial intent) passengers per car, no matter what the engine, fuel, or fuel mileage? You know, get back to the original intent: Less cars on the highway commuting?

      • 0 avatar

        HOV lanes aren’t about moving traffic. They’re about keeping people that can’t afford to buy special cars from having the same level of freedom awarded to those who can.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “But, they are sold out according to Government Motors!”

    Hey Garbage, looks like it for people in Canada. Off the the Voltl Facebook page:

    @VOLT MARKETING DEPARTEMENT: Is it possible to know how many VOLT will be allocated in Quebec, where gas prices are over 5$ a gallon? I know friends who made a 1000$ deposit 6 months ago and still have not received it. Only 100 Volts were allocated in 2011, how many for QC in 2012? As a friend told me, his GM dealer who is in business since 25 years has never seen this. It’s easier in QUEBEC to order a custom Ferrari, than a VOLT !!! I need this information since being myself a Volt owner, I get lots of requests from friends «where can I get a VOLT». EVEN some people try to import VOLT’s from the USA, but it’s quite complicated and you’re not eligible to Quebec’s 7769$ rebate

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD shows 3,490 Volts sitting on dealers’ lots in the US.

      What percentage of production is that? How many days’ supply?

    • 0 avatar

      Many of those unsold now will be used to fill GE’s order and the order of the US government. That’s why they restarted production so soon.

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