Eva Knott 10:44 a.m., May 18
Californians Driving Demand for General Motors' Electric Car
California drivers are propping up otherwise lackluster sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt gas/electric hybrid, the Detroit Free Press observes.
California buyers are snapping up nearly 23 percent of all Volts sold nationwide, motivated by gasoline prices that remain over $4 per gallon and a $1500 state tax incentive to go with a $7500 tax credit being offered by the federal government. Despite the tax breaks, the effective cost is still north of $30,000 for the compact hatchback.
The biggest driver of sales, however, is widely recognized as the coveted carpool access incentive, which allows buyers of the fuel-efficient vehicle to drive solo in the state’s carpool lanes, avoiding rush hour congestion. The Volt is selling especially well in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, says General Motors, metro areas well known for their congested highways.
“I've had more people talk to me in the last couple months about the Volt than I have in the last year,” Bill Cumming of Ron Baker Chevrolet in National City told the Free Press. “Currently, I have none in stock.”
Despite nationwide sales figures that appear likely to fall well short of GM’s projected 45,000 units, the Volt should double its 2011 sales totals of 7,761, bolstered by advertising targeting environmentally conscious individuals in the LGBT community and stunts such as floating one of the cars in a pool at Southern California’s popular Coachella music festival.