2012 buyers of the Chevy Volt, a hybrid-electric vehicle introduced in 2010, will now be allowed to drive in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in the state of California. Previously sold Chevy Volts did not qualify to receive the sticker required for this privilege. Recent adaptations made for the 2012 model will now allow new buyers to apply for one of these highly coveted spots.
Chevy dealers hope that this will further entice buyers to try out this new technology which, while energy efficient, is also expensive. Having an additional carrot to draw in customers is key, especially in a state such as California which tends to be more willing to adopt new green technology before the rest of the country or world. Even without access to the high occupancy vehicle lane, almost one fourth of all Chevy Volts sold last year were sold in the state of California.
As a car designed for commuting, access to the high occupancy vehicle lanes fits in well with the Chevy Volt’s market objectives. The car is designed to provide drivers with the ability to make it to and from work using electricity saved in batteries without requiring the back up gasoline engine to kick in at all. The goal is to provide users with the ability to use the car on a daily basis without ever having to refill the gas tank. Hopefully, the extra effort made by General Motors to get the Volt qualified for the high occupancy vehicle lanes will pay off as environmentally conscious commuters and carpoolers will have even more reason to give this new technology a chance. The Volt could prove to be part of the solution to the United State’s continuing reliance on both foreign and domestic sources of oil and it is fair to allow it this added incentive.