Demand for Chevy Volt on the Rise in California

By · June 15, 2012

Chevy Volt in California

Single-occupant use of HOV lanes and a $1,500 rebated have combined to increase demand for the Chevy Volt in California.

The Chevy Volt is becoming a hot item in California. That's the latest news coming from West Coast Chevrolet dealerships. "I've had more people talk to me in the last couple months about the Volt than I have in the last year," said Bill Cumming, general manager of Ron Baker Chevrolet in National City, California, as reported in USA Today earlier this month. "Currently, I have none in stock."

"There is a shortage of Volts for us," said Darryl Holter, CEO of Downtown L.A. Auto Group. "We'll look to other dealers to see if they have any."

The key question is why. Most analysts point to California's various incentives (single occupant HOV lane access and a $1,500 rebate from the state), combined with gas prices that are still hovering at or above $4 per gallon.

But perhaps, at the same time, General Motors is figuring out how to sell the plug-in hybrid. Instead of trying to "educate" the public about its technology, GM recently launched a series of customer testimonials, simply portraying the car as a great vehicle that's fun to drive.

EV-makers have so far failed to convey an image of electric cars as a great driving experience. Hopefully, the recent success of the Volt will encourage Nissan, Ford and others to sell EVs with the same compelling fun-to-drive message used to sell any car to a mainstream consumer.

New to EVs? Start here

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