For Californians previously on the fence regarding whether to purchase a Chevrolet Volt or other plug-in electric hybrid vehicle, consider this; the Governator has granted owners of such vehicles unrestricted access to highway HOV lanes, with only one caveat; you have to wait until 2012. The measure was introduced by a state Senator from San Francisco and will allow 40,000 advanced technology vehicles access to the HOV lanes during commuting hours between 2012 and 2015.
This program is not the first of its kind, as a similar program implemented in 2005 offered the same advantage to hybrids like the Prius through 2010. The program was so wildly successful that when being sold with the HOV sticker, Prius resale values increased by as much as $4,000 in California.
Law makers wanted all other permissions to HOV lanes to expire before granting plug-ins access, as the states HOV lanes are already somewhat crowded; some 85,000 vehicles now have access free of the “˜high occupancy” requirement.
A spokesman for the senator said the following: “It is imperative that we find ways to limit our carbon footprint,” said Yee. “(The law) will provide a great incentive for car manufacturers to develop higher emission standards and for individuals to purchase greener vehicles. The governor’s signature of this bill will help jump-start sales of these green vehicles and encourage greater stewardship of our environment.”
Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, “T”-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. According to GM”s preliminary specs, the system puts out 150-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes less than 3 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 8 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries a 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 300 miles. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.
2011 Chevrolet Volt:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News