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Chevy Volt California Fail

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http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1047618_2011-chevy-volt-no-5k-rebate-hov-lane-access-for-ca-buyers

"...The highest California rebate of $5,000 goes only to zero-emission vehicles, those cars with no tailpipes. The all-electric Nissan Leaf qualifies, but the Volt--whose range-extending gasoline engine switches on to provide electricity when the Battery is depleted--does not. California's EV buyers had expected the Volt to qualify instead for a reduced rebate of roughly $3,000, says EV advocate Chelsea Sexton. But that hope was quashed when the Volt didn't qualify as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), a specific category of clean vehicle in the California's complicated taxonomy of emissions classes.

In the eyes of California regulators, the plug-in 2011 Chevrolet Volt is no cleaner than the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact--despite its ability to run solely on grid power for up to 40 miles, including at freeway speeds.

The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, on the other hand, does qualify as an AT-PZEV and will get a partial rebate, even though it must run its gasoline engine at freeway speeds.

No HOV perks either?

The other major plug-in perk is single-driver access to California's high-occupancy vehicle lanes, greatly prized in congested San Francisco and Los Angeles traffic. But current legislation won't extend that to the Volt either."

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I could understand the Leaf being eligable, but how come the plug in Prius is OK but the Volt is not? Is it down to the cleanness of the exhaust emissions when the petrol engine actually runs?

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Looks to be the actual small print in the laws being outdated - and probably good lobbying by Toyota to get the Prius included.

One would have thought that Detroit would have got these things checked out during the design stage as laws take a while to change.

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The few US Prius owners who have had week long trials with a Prius plug in prototype (see PriusChat for more details) have questioned why the Prius starts up the engine 1.6 miles before the EV range runs out. And the answer is this very issue - its to meet this California law. It basicly ensures that a gas engine only warms up from cold once whilst the car is running. As we all know warming up from cold is the most polluting time for an engine. The Prius plug in (and indeed the standard car) ensures this happens only once and then takes steps to keep the engine warm which presumably the Volt does not. I would have thought a software patch should enable GM to resolve this for the Volt.

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