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USA: Chevy Volt Plug-In Sales Surge In CA, Outsells ‘Vette Too

It’s quite the morning for electric-car news today, but we didn’t want to let one from yesterday slip by either.

After a lumpy start to sales of the Chevrolet Volt, it appears that California dealers now can’t keep the range-extended electric car in stock.

According to an analysis of registration data from January through March provided by R.L. Polk, the Detroit Free Press reports that California bought more Volts by far–837 of them–than in the second-highest state, which was Michigan at just 232.

California buyers are crucially important to the future success of Detroit’s automakers, who sell far fewer vehicles there than Asian and European brands.

One in four Volts

Almost one in four Volts sold in the first quarter was registered in California, and the pace is likely to continue.

The Free Press quotes two different Chevrolet dealers saying they’re basically sold out of Volts, and notes that California dealerships are resorting to buying Volts from other dealers.

They can’t bring in Volts from dealers outside the state because to qualify for single-occupant travel in the High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes on California’s notoriously congested freeways, the Volt must be fitted at the factory with additional emission control equipment.

All about HOV access

And in fact it’s the HOV-lane access that is proving to be the success factor for Volts in the Golden State, as most electric-car advocates had long predicted.


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