California invites Chevy Volt drivers into its carpool lanes
Car leasing customers who shop for the Chevrolet Volt usually say they are seeking outstanding fuel economy and vanishing tailpipe pollution from the electric compact car.
Customers got a new reason to sign a vehicle lease for a Volt last week when California announced that it would allow drivers of the low-emissions model - already standard in the state - to cruise solo in carpool lanes.
Regulators in Georgia, New York and Florida have also opened their carpool lanes to Volt drivers without passengers, but the rule could make its biggest impact in crowded California.
Commuters with access to the state's 1,400 miles of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes save an estimated average 36 minutes a day - equivalent to one-third of their total driving time. Volt owners who want to claim one of the 40,000 Clean Air Stickers required for the lanes can download applications from the California DMV web site.
"The Volts with the Low Emissions Package are certain to be a strong draw for California commuters looking to travel the state's notoriously congested freeways in the carpool lane," said Chevrolet marketing vice president Chris Perry.
In a bid to encourage even more electric vehicle sales, California will also offer up to $1,500 in state rebates through the Low Emissions Package of its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The money is in addition to a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
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