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USA: Chevrolet plans special Volt to qualify for carpool sticker, rebate

eneral Motors Co. plans to bring a special version of the Chevrolet Volt to the California market that will qualify the plug-in hybrid sedan for a $1,500 state rebate and a coveted carpool lane sticker.

The Volt, which the automaker has made the poster child for its environmental credentials, has sold slower in California than its all-electric rival, the Nissan Leaf — in part because it previously did not qualify as a vehicle solo drivers could use in the state’s network of time-saving carpool lanes.

GM said that next month it will begin shipping a special version of the car with a “low emissions package” that satisfies the requirements of the California Air Resources Board, with sales to start the following month.

“These vehicles include additional emission-control equipment and software, which reduce emissions,” said Chevrolet spokesman Robert Peterson.

But whether it will make a large difference in Volt sales is questionable, said Thilo Koslowski, an auto analyst at Gartner Inc.

A small segment of auto buyers will pay more for the ability to get “from point A to point B faster,” but starting this year, the Volt will face more competition from other cars that are expected to qualify for the same rebate and lane access, he said
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