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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all!

A hot topic here in California is whether the 2012 Volt will meet the requirements necessary to get carpool lane status. There have been a few preliminary reports that GM was acting to address the reason why the 2011 did not- Cold start emissions.

A call to a few dealers has resulted in a mess of information- many saying "no" while most admitting they really have no idea.

I would say that more should be known around the time of EPA evaluation. Anyone know if / when this will happen?

You may or may not know, but hybrids no longer have carpool lane access here in sunny California. Pure electric and natural gas vehicles are still good to go. Rumor has it that GM supported or even helped to shape this new law that allows carpool lane access for plug-in hybrids (ahem) that can travel a certain distance on battery before switching to the ICE.

Anyone hear anything? I will find those reports and post below.

http://green.autoblog.com/2010/09/0...not-be-eligible-for-hov-lane-access-until-mi/
 

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I'm currious about the status of this as well. We don't get HOV access here in Texas, but I'll be spending four months in San Diego for work this winter and would like to take advantage of this since I have to bring my own car with me.
 

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The emissions are part of it, but another is the warranty. To qualify for the AT-PZEV status they have to offer a 15 year 150,000 mile warranty on the battery. GM must plan to offer that or they wouldn't have said they were trying to get a model qualified, but there is no word yet if there will be an additional cost for the additional warranty coverage. I suspect it may be available as an option at some point (like a CA emissions package).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It may sound petty, but I am one of about six friends who are ready to buy (or lease) and carpool access is the selling point. We would all put money down on the 2012 Volt today- if we knew that it would qualify.

Next on the list will be high range BEVs- Focus EV (if it can pull 100MPC) and the Rav4. The Tesla S and everything tends to be too expensive.

Very very last on the list is the 2012 plugin Prius, IF it qualifies.

The Leaf is not on the table, as it is a bit low on creature comforts and, well, class. Know that we will spend about 2+ hours per day in this machine. The design and amenities of the 2nd gen Prius is favored over the Leaf, if that tells you anything.
 

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Plug-in Prius has already been qualified for the green sticker, definitively (official list http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm). It looks like Volt is aiming to basically match it at the same time the PiP is released next year, if the info from Don's neighbor (some head honcho at CARB) is accurate. So I'd wait if HOV access is a major selling point.

I am more interested in the $1500 CARB rebate than the sticker; I commute during off-hours so would rarely get benefit from it. Sticker expires at end of 2014 anyway, only 3 years of use unless extended by lawmakers, it's not lasting as long as the previous yellow sticker program for the regular hybrids.

I was originally planning to hold out for this, but since the car I ordered looks like it will get here next month I'm going to go ahead. I was willing to wait 2-3 months but not 5-6, especially factoring in that there might be an extra charge for this version, and possibly getting a free 240v charge station (limited supply of these, only in certain areas, I'm getting an installation estimate to see if it's worth it). But my priorities differ from yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the great info! 2012 + 2013 stand to be an exciting time for EVs of all flavors. The greater problem is that I want one of each! Next question- When is CA getting to participate in PowerBall? :)
 

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The Leaf is not on the table, as it is a bit low on creature comforts and, well, class. Know that we will spend about 2+ hours per day in this machine. The design and amenities of the 2nd gen Prius is favored over the Leaf, if that tells you anything.
The Leaf won't have enough range but FWIW I think the Leaf beats the Prius hands down on ride and handling. Both have seats that suck. The Volt is in a different league altogether. Get the leather and the premium sound. No doubt the Model S will be super nice but it will also be $90K. Also keep in mind that BMW should begin leasing the ActiveE in the near future. That might have enough range for you. BMW has advertised a range of 100 miles, so it may depend on whether BMW's range is real or asperational like Nissan's.

@stephent -- Good luck with the charger. My read is that the offer of a free charger is something of a come on -- they make up for it on an overpriced install -- but that may be unfair. No doubt you've done this, but make sure you're not in one of the areas which qualifies you for the Ecotality program. That gets you a free charger and a free install up to $1200.

I understand why you don't want to wait but if the HOV lane was critical I'd be tempted to keep checking.
 

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gwmort has it nailed I think. GM has to decide how much to sell the car for with a 150k mile warranty. I presume the engineering required to improve the emissions to SULEV level is within their ability.

One interesting wrinkle is that GM will have to improve emissions for all cars, but only pass on the cost to the HOV wannabes. And sell the car in CARB compliant states as a non AT-PZEV car. Will HOV compliant and non HOV compliant cars be sold in CA ? That sounds complicated to me if even possible, and ripe for fraud. Get ready for bad publicity for GM if they go that route.
 

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gwmort has it nailed I think. GM has to decide how much to sell the car for with a 150k mile warranty. I presume the engineering required to improve the emissions to SULEV level is within their ability.
For those thinking that if they get a Volt certified as an AT-PZEV vehicle the car will warrantied for 15 years, note that the warranty only extends to the emissions control system. That might be quite limited.
 

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For those thinking that if they get a Volt certified as an AT-PZEV vehicle the car will warrantied for 15 years, note that the warranty only extends to the emissions control system. That might be quite limited.
As I already posted earlier in this thread, it's 10 years not 15. And yes it's not the entire car, it's the emissions system, but the key thing is that CARB considers the battery part of that system in a hybrid. So to qualify the warranty on the battery has to change from the current 8/100000 to 10/150000.
 

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As I already posted earlier in this thread, it's 10 years not 15. And yes it's not the entire car, it's the emissions system, but the key thing is that CARB considers the battery part of that system in a hybrid. So to qualify the warranty on the battery has to change from the current 8/100000 to 10/150000.
The emissions system warranty is 15 years/150,000. While the AT-PZEV standard has been interpreted as requiring a 10 year warranty on the battery you might be surprised. :D Also note that what the warranty covers is open to debate. It doesn't necessarily have to cover range as the Volt's warranty currently does.

CARB has been relentlessly and harshly critizied -- rightly so IMO -- about its battery warranty requirement. Requiring a 10 year battery life can result in a cost inflated battery which costs 5X what two batteries each having a life of 5 years costs. What kind of result is that? Everybody understands this is is stupid, including CARB, so we'll see how this shakes out.
 

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I live in DC where I am eligible for the "free" 240 charger. But the previous writer was correct - they make it up on the installation. Before the electrical contractor came (Oursman Electric as in Oursman Chevy, Honda, etc.) I was told the average installation was $1500. But I had already "heavied-up" and had excess circuit breakers in the box in the garage. So installation would be as easy as it could be - just hard wire the charger to the box. Guess what? the estimate was $1500. I declined. BTW, when you read the fine print you learn that if you don't keep the installation for 3 years you have to reimburse the cost of the charger! So if you are planning to move within 3 years forgetaboutit. It also didn't suit my needs. I have 10 hours when I return the car to the garage before I needed it again so I get a full charge on 110v. I portable 220v charger might be useful if one could find 220v sockets somewhere, which I doubt unless your friendly laundromat lets you plug in!
 

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The emissions system warranty is 15 years/150,000. While the AT-PZEV standard has been interpreted as requiring a 10 year warranty on the battery you might be surprised. :D Also note that what the warranty covers is open to debate. It doesn't necessarily have to cover range as the Volt's warranty currently does.
Sorry you're right. 15 years on the emissions, 10 on the battery. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm#FAQ
And certainly I agree that there's any real specification on what sort of range loss would be deemed "acceptable", and I agree with the criticism of the CARB rules inflating battery costs, but that's the rule currently in place.
 

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@ Jrizzo,

We understand that the AT-PZEV certification is very desirable in markets for which it provides access to HOV lanes. When developing any product, there is a prioritization of features that will be developed first. In order to bring the Volt to market quickly, but with high quality, General Motors chose to focus on the federal immersions first as it applies to the vast majority of the potential customers. We are working on a version of the Volt which will meet the AT-PZEV. It is estimated to be available late in the 2012 model year.
 
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