Sales of the Chevy Volt are about to spike in California as GM prepares to introduce a new version of the green machine that will gain access to the state’s car pool lanes.
The current Volt does not meet the requirements to qualify for a high-occupancy-vehicle lane sticker, despite having a zero-emissions range of 25 to 40 miles. Beyond that range its gasoline engine kicks in, which the state says pollutes too much to gain access to the lanes, which have historically made exceptions for green machines like the Toyota Prius or fully electric cars. The new lower-emissions Volt will feature modifications to the catalytic converter to help burn exhaust gases more thoroughly.
Much of the success of the Prius in California is believed to come from that fact that it used to qualify for HOV lane status. Chevy is no doubt hoping achieving similar access will boost Volt sales in the state, which currently accounts for roughly a quarter of the 7,671 Volts sold last year. In particular, this convenience feature is expected to attract a new second-wave of buyers.
We first reported on this development back in November, and according to GM spokesman Rob Peterson the new lower-emissions Volts should be in California dealers by March.