It’s often the little things that matter – like the little sticker that buyers will now be able to attach to the bumper of the Chevrolet Volt that qualifies the plug-in hybrid to drive in the carpool lane on California highways even when there’s only one person in the vehicle.
Actually, that’s not such a small advantage for a motorist who can shave precious minutes off the daily commute. It’s one reason why the Toyota Prius long did so well in the traffic-choked Golden State – buyers sometimes paying as much as $5,000 more for a used hybrid with one of the limited stickers attached.
Unfortunately, the first Volts off the assembly line didn’t fall into the so-called P-ZEV – or “partial-zero-emissions vehicle” – category required to get the carpool sticker even though they could drive up to 30 miles or so entirely on battery power. Now, General Motors has corrected that problem and the updated Chevy Volt will not only get to drive solo in the carpool lane – saving an estimated 36 minutes a day in Southern California – but also earn a $1,500 state rebate.