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Chevy Volt Not Green Enough For California 384

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-rebate-for-you dept.
thecarchik writes "The first two plug-in cars from major manufacturers will go head-to-head on warranties and lease prices: $350 a month for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, $349 for the 2011 Nissan Leaf. Now the choice shifts to other measures, including electric and overall range, as well as the plug-in perks that states like California offer to early adopters to encourage them to opt for electric cars. This is where it gets interesting. While California loves the Nissan Leaf, current regulations deny Chevy Volt buyers two significant perks: a $5,000 rebate, and permission to drive solo in HOV Lanes."
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Chevy Volt Not Green Enough For California

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  • I'm puzzled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:24PM (#33064106)

    Apparently California can't afford to pay government employees, but can afford to give money to people who buy electric cars?

    • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Brett Buck (811747) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:26PM (#33064122)

      What's your point? We are also committed to building a high-speed train from Barstow to Lodi, at astonishing cost.

      • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ichijo (607641) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:28PM (#33064236) Homepage Journal

        We are also committed to building a high-speed train from Barstow to Lodi, at astonishing cost.

        Even more astonishing than the cost of the $45 billion HSR line is the cost of the $80-150 billion alternative of expanding highways and airports just to move the same number of people.

        • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:58PM (#33064288) Journal
          Unfortunately, that isn't how cost psychology works...

          Any expenses necessary to maintain the status quo are simply necessary, or even "emergency". They don't count.

          Any expenses incurred deviating from the status quo are radical, fiscally imprudent experiments that we can ill-afford.

          Any attempt to actually assign numbers to these two categories, and compare them, makes you a pointy-headed wonk who is too boring for television.
        • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Brett Buck (811747) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:11PM (#33064354)

          Oh bullshit - it's never going to be built, and the money will be pissed away

        • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:16PM (#33064384)
          yeah that lodi to barstow route is high traffic.
          The only people going up and down hwy 5 or 99 are traveling/trucking. They got a car full of junk. these people aren't taking trains. Unless you think those IT workers in lodi/fresno/bakersfield need to commute to barstows booming job industry.
          I used to think government was stupid. Now I believe they do stupid things on purpose to ruin us.
          • Re:I'm puzzled (Score:5, Insightful)

            by uncqual (836337) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:02PM (#33064716)
            Maybe you were right about government being stupid or maybe you're right that they do stupid things just to ruin us.

            However, the idiots ultimately responsible for the HSR fiasco in California are the voters who passed passed Prop 1A which provides almost $10B (via bonds) to jumpstart the program. Without passage of Prop 1A, HSR probably would have stalled or died.

            Fortunately for Californians, it's pretty easy for those who actually pay taxes to leave the state as it flushes itself down the crapper.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          And all these people really need to travel back and forth all the time between those points because of ...why? Really, fuck-ing why? How come no one brings this up there at all, is it an "inconvenient truth"? Why do they need either expensive upgrade at this time, alleged "mass" transit or "private" transit, just to keep burning some form of energy, go to lunch someplace else, "go shopping", or what? How about Californians realize they got so used to making huge money during two really bogus back to back b

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Barstow and Lodi... More cosmopolitan, hip metropolises you'll never find. I'm thinking "Monorail"...

      • Lodi is a logical place for the train to go through on its way from the big cities of Northern California to the big cities of Southern California. I'm not aware of any commitment to extending the line to Barstow, although doing so might make sense as part of a LA to Las Vegas line. The cost isn't that astonishing for a state richer than many European countries that already have good passenger rail networks. What's astonishing is that it wasn't started 30 years ago.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      Is it any wonder? [latimes.com]

    • California can't afford to pay government employees, but can afford to give money to people who buy electric cars?

      What is truly puzzling is why investors continue to buy California's bonds when each subsequent budget resorts to ever more inventive accounting tricks to "balance" spending with actual revenue. It may surprise some of you to learn that the credit rating of California bonds is so low that institutional investors in this state, which includes many local governments and government employee pension funds, cannot purchase them for their investment pools. What does that tell you about the credit worthiness of Ca

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:30PM (#33064156)

    The leaf is not a hybrid, the volt is. Seems pretty simple here folks.

    • by paitre (32242) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:35PM (#33064178) Journal

      Not really - since the Prius DOES get the benefits that the Volt won't be.

      So... yeah. It makes very, very little sense.

      • by coolgeek (140561) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:03PM (#33064302) Homepage

        Actually, nope. HOV passes are not issued to hybrids any longer.

        • by fredmosby (545378) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:29PM (#33064882)
          The article says the 2011 Prius, which will be a plug in hybrid, will qualify for HOV passes. The Chevy volt won't even though it is also a plug in hybrid. Ironically this is because it is designed to drive without the engine running most of the time. It's catalytic converter isn't constantly heated, which means that under certain conditions it can give off evaporative emissions.
          • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:02AM (#33065304)
            This is due to the Prius using a vacuum sealed container to keep a heat transfer medium heated, which is used to keep the catalytic converter up to temp. I don't believe the Volt employees this method. Want cheap? Get a Leaf. Want nice, get a Model S. The Volt? Not very good from either cost or luxury.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by MightyYar (622222)

              A vacuum sealed container is necessary because the Prius is constantly starting and stopping its engine. IIRC, the Volt runs its battery until depletion, and then runs its engine continuously until the battery is again charged... even a Prius-style insulated converter would not stay hot enough for the large time between running the engine.

              The difference is in philosophy... the Volt is essentially an electric car with a backup power source. The Prius is a gasoline car with electric assist - even though it wi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by demonbug (309515)

            I can't stand the idiocy of giving HOV passes to hybrids, electric cars, or any other type of vehicle. The purpose of HOV lanes is and should be to encourage people to ride-share, the primary goal of which is to reduce the need for additional highway capacity. Someone cruising along alone in their electric car is just as bad in this respect as someone cruising along alone in their Hummer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ageedoy (961786)
        HOV stickers are no longer available for hybrids in the state of California and even current Prius HOV stickers will expire in a few years. What h4rr4r is saying is correct. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/09/california-extends-unrestricted-use-of-carpool-lanes-by-evs-unti/ [autoblog.com]
      • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:06PM (#33064324)
        I agree it makes no sense, but it doesn't make sense in the Prius vs Volt comparison. The Leaf vs Volt comparison makes perfect sense. The electric vehicle gets benefits the hybrid doesn't. The article is spending so much time trying to convince us that a hybrid that could be driven as an electric should be treated as such.

        Really, the answer is to drop all the regulations and incentives and bump the tax on gasoline and diesel by $5 per gallon. Why tax someone and refund the tax on hybrids that get worse mileage than some smaller cars? Why create all the tax and refund process in the first place? Just tax on usage, and let the rest go. The Free Market will figure it out. People will use less and pay more attention to economy of what they buy. And that will close the budget gap for CA as well (unless done at the national level, in which case it will go a long way towards closing the budget deficit).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by T-Bone-T (1048702)

          Bumping the tax on something by 100% of the product price is not free market enterprise. If you do that for gas, nobody will be able to afford anything. If that happened in my state, I'd immediately ask for a massive raise and start looking for a house and job in the next state over. I would go broke from the gas prices before I could buy a more economical car. I imagine it would literally kill the economy rather than encourage people to be more economical.

      • by BBF_BBF (812493) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:15PM (#33064374)

        Not really - since the Prius DOES get the benefits that the Volt won't be.

        So... yeah. It makes very, very little sense.

        Yep, it makes "very, very little sense" because it's incorrect.

        If you bought a Prius TODAY, it would not qualify for the HOV lane exemption because you couldn't get a new exemption sticker for it because they've all been allocated. Anyways, by 2011, no hybrids will be allowed in the HOV lane with just one person... how is this different for the Prius than for the Volt since both won't be able to qualify for the HOV lane exemption by the time the Volt is sold in CA? http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1041787_hybrid-owners-howl-as-california-hov-lane-access-ends-in-december [greencarreports.com]

        Also, if you bothered to read the original article, the reason why the Volt doesn't qualify for any CA credits is because it didn't meet CA AT-PZEV requirements that the current Prius meets. Who's to fault when their vehicle doesn't meet a published standard? Blame GM, not CA.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by skids (119237)

          My understanding is that these AT-PZEV requirements need some work -- part of the standard requires an immediate warm-up of the engine even if you have a PHEV, and that part is a holdover from pre-hybrid days where there was no such thing as a car (other than pure EV) that might make short trips on battery alone. IIRC some of the post-factory PHEV mods had to alter their software and make their designs less efficient in order to comply. Good intentions, but obsolete policy now.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Al Dimond (792444)

            Obsolete? The engine can still pollute more on a cold start, and the Volt is likely to have to cold-start often. It's hard to determine what overall emissions of the Volt will be, and that's really what CARB is concerned with.

            And, really, that's as it should be. The air is the public good they're concerned with. The societal costs of energy production ought to be baked directly into energy costs.

      • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:15PM (#33064378)
        The Prius does not quality for the same rebate as the Leaf because it's not a zero-emissions vehicle. It qualifies for a lesser rebate because it is partial zero-emissions. The Volt qualifies as neither because the requirements are pass-or-fail, and the Volt fails [plugincars.com].
        • Isn't part of zero still zero?
      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        no it doesn't. The rebate is for Zero emission vehicles only now, hence hybrids are excluded.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lgw (121541)

      Hybrids were elegible for rebates and the go-fast sticker, and the Volt has a far longer battery-only range than any previous hybrid. But I can't see California giving perks to buyers of American cars under any circumstance, just too against the culture here.

    • by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:52PM (#33064208) Journal

      The Volt is not an import, the Leaf is. We're talking about greenies from California here folks.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      So I'll just hook the Leaf up to the nearest smoke belching power plant and cause it to belch out just a bit. That, or I'll just drag out my generator and charge it from that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by horza (87255)

      Indeed. The Volt is just a petrol car with Green cred tacked on (though not as bad as the stupid Prius, which you can't even plug in without invalidating your warranty). These hacks will die out soon enough.

      Phillip.

      • by skids (119237)

        A) I'm always very skeptical of big corporations trying to greenwash. I have lots of technical quibbles with the design of the Volt. However even I admit it's an honest effort.

        B) Toyota has partnered with PHEV post-factory mod manufacturers to honor their warranty. In fact some dealerships are licensed installers [a123systems.com].

        Healthy and proper skepticism will get you far in life. Cynicism won't.

    • The leaf is not a hybrid, the volt is. Seems pretty simple here folks.

      The volt is not a hybrid - it's fully electric.

      • by athakur999 (44340) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:37PM (#33064926) Journal

        I can't believe how many people here seem to misunderstand this... As you say, the Volt is an EV. It can run without a drop of gasoline if you want it to, something a hybrid can't do. The drivetrain of the Volt is purely electric. The gasoline part of the Volt is just a generator to keep providing juice to the electric motor if the battery pack runs out. If you stay within the range of the battery pack, the generator will never need to turn on.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          So the gasoline engine is just a huge heavy lump of metal it has to drag around wasting it's range ....

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by smellsofbikes (890263)

            So the gasoline engine is just a huge heavy lump of metal it has to drag around wasting it's range ....

            Yes, just like the air conditioner and the heater and the radio and the bumpers and the windshield. There are lots of features cars have that are only sometimes necessary or useful and waste fuel the rest of the time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by T-Bone-T (1048702)

        The drivetrain is all electric but the power source is not. That's the "hybrid" part.

  • by kriston (7886) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:26PM (#33064232) Homepage Journal

    HOV is for CONGESTION not for ENVIRONMENT. This is why for many years you could not build an extra lane on an interstate highway without building at least one of them as HOV. Of course, this so-called regulation was promptly disregarded in the New York City metropolitan area along whose left lanes on I-287 you can see the abandoned HOV signs and faded diamonds on their new left lanes.

    But, seriously folks, HOV was always intended for congestion relief, not "clean/special fuel." This is why Virginia fights the hybrid-on-HOV law every time it expires. HOV was not originally intended to have anything to do with the environment, just congestion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      Change is bad, Mmmm-kay.

    • Umm... HOV lanes increase congestion by reducing the number of available lanes for most drivers while rewarding the environmentally conscious ones with a special no/limited congestion lane. If you go to http://www.epa.gov/oms/ld-hwy.htm [epa.gov] and scroll down to High Occupancy Vehicle Exemption Proposed Rule you may notice that it's the EPAs website and that it talks about pollution not congestion. I am curious to know where your idea that it was about congestion came from though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kriston (7886)

        Again, you are looking at the EPA's web site, and the environment is not the original intent of HOV legislation. It was added-on many years later, most notably in Virginia who fight it ever time it comes up for renewal. Politically, it was a nice extra justification for having HOV lanes and in a very small number of states the clean/special fuel provision was added to the protest of highway planners.

        As for quoting my sources, here is one that mentions the optional exceptions that states may allow, and it

      • Cutting congestion is the single best thing you can do to cut pollution, though, at the moment. And will continue to be for however long "green" cars cost over forty-f*king thousand dollars.

        Even without the "high occupancy" bit increasing the passenger miles per gallon, simply eliminating stopping (and its consequent acceleration for those who need to finish their commute at a specific destination) improves fleet mpg dramatically.

        It is a mistake to allow low-passenger vehicles into HOV lanes as a reward fo

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:31PM (#33064244)

    This takes away any sort of "green" cred the vehicle had. Whether it's actually true what Calif. believes or not isn't the point. People will PERCEIVE that the Volt isn't "green" regardless of where it's sold in the US.

    Sucks to be them.

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:47PM (#33064602)

      California and green have little to do with each other. I just moved out here to take a job, and I was thinking I'd like to buy a diesel as my next vehicle, since to my way of thinking a diesel is far greener than a moderate hybrid like the Prius (the Volt is a different animal). Plus the low-end torque is great, as is the possibility of converting it to alternative fuels. Much to my surprise, I learned that you can't even buy a diesel car out here.

      From what I can tell, California is about regulations that make people who don't know much feel good.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by gumbi west (610122)

        What makes you think diesel is green? There is 20% more carbon in a galon, so your emissions are not as low as you might think comparing MPG to MPG. Once you take that into account, few diesels are even as good as a corolla (which is almost as good as a Prius).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Nyeerrmm (940927)

          I'd always just taken the general more power per stroke, less energy required to produce the fuel, and better mileage as the main reasons. Always assumed they had more carbon output than a non-plugin hybrid, but I figure thats probably offset by the reduced energy required for manufacturing. Thanks for that tip though, I'll have to look into that 20% and revise my thoughts.

          Unfortunately I don't think the California standard is based on anything that reasonable, but probably 20-year old ideas of particulat

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by gumbi west (610122)

            sorry, the link also says, "The California Air Resources Board has concluded that diesel soot is responsible for 70% of the state's risk of cancer from airborne toxics." So, yes California has considered this issue specifically.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Only recently have diesels cleaned up their act. They really were a polluting mess just a few years ago. And you can't expect the whole state to change overnight to accommodate new diesel cars. Instead, they get largely left out. That said, you certainly CAN get one. Additionally, even now, the ultra-fine emissions from diesels seem to have an unfortunate tendency to cause cancer in humans that breath much of it, according to studies. Not to mention that everyone I've heard make specific claims about

      • by silverhalide (584408) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:56AM (#33065550)

        Depends on how you define Green. California has for the past 30 years been focusing on Air Quality ("Smog"), which actually has less to do with fuel economy and CO2 emissions and more to do with the other combustion byproducts. From California's perspective, a 2-stroke moped is orders of magnitude worse a polluter than a Prius.

        Passenger cars are held to much higher emission standards than trucks. California has the strictest air quality standards in the world. (Air Quality != CO2 emissions).

        Diesel cars that are sold in Europe do not usually have expensive exhaust after-treatments, and those models are too dirty for California's emissions regulations. From an air quality perspective, diesels are orders of magnitude worse than hybrids. In particular, NOx (Nitrous Oxide, smog public enemy #1) and particulate emissions are the problem. Once you add the equipment required to meet those regulations, the cost far exceeds any fuel benefits you'll see, coupled with higher-than-average Diesel fuel prices here.

          What doesn't sell in California doesn't get made for the US, since Cali is more or less the top car market in the country.

        There's been some advances on clean passenger diesel engines--the VW Jetta is available now in the US market with their TDI diesel engine (for a $5,000 premium on the base model). I think it was the first passenger car to meet this, not sure about the other makes...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by IrquiM (471313)

          Diesel cars that are sold in Europe do not usually have expensive exhaust after-treatments, and those models are too dirty for California's emissions regulations.

          It's required by law in Norway, and the last time I checked, Norway is still in Europe

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by demonbug (309515)

        California and green have little to do with each other. I just moved out here to take a job, and I was thinking I'd like to buy a diesel as my next vehicle, since to my way of thinking a diesel is far greener than a moderate hybrid like the Prius (the Volt is a different animal). Plus the low-end torque is great, as is the possibility of converting it to alternative fuels. Much to my surprise, I learned that you can't even buy a diesel car out here.

        From what I can tell, California is about regulations that make people who don't know much feel good.

        Wow, I'd better go tell my brother who just bought a new Jetta TDI that it is impossible for him to have done so.

        Yes, it is true, diesel passenger cars were not available in California for a couple of years because of tightened particulate emission standards (and relatively high-sulfur fuel available here being incompatible with the cleaner diesels offered by many manufacturers). These issues have been largely resolved, and now you can buy diesel BMWs and VWs at least (not sure what other manufacturers offe

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:38PM (#33064280) Journal
    Assuming that introducing market distortions is, in fact, desirable(and, let's be frank, those already exist in vast numbers and a variety of forms for fossil fuels, roads, etc. so anybody whining about it being a liberal envirohippy conspiracy can spare me...) it seems like attempts to classify by "type" are far inferior to attempts to classify by efficiency.

    All you have to do is calculate an adequately accurate conversion factor between a few fuel sources, based on what variables you care about(ie. co2 emmissions, foreignness, renewability, presumably a weighted average of some kind.) Then you could simply slap an "efficiency under expected conditions" number on each vehicle, without regard for how it achieves it, and go from there. Who cares if it is gasoline, hybrid, electric, diesel, alien tech, when we could know how efficient it is at moving from point A to point B at the lowest cost across the variables that concern us?

    (If one were feeling really radical, one could simply apply a system of Pigovian taxes and/or credits to the fuel sources, and let car buyers follow their economic incentives from there; but I'm guessing that that'll be a non-starter.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joe_frisch (1366229)

      I completely agree in principal, but in practice it is difficult to implement. The problem is how to compare electric and fossil fuel vehicles. The fossil fuel consumption, toxic emissions and CO2 emissions from electric generation vary dramatically depending on location and time of day. At low use hours most of the inefficient power plants are turned off, most of the low emissions plants (nuclear, wind, hydro) are running. Charging your car at 2am probably contributes fairly little to emissions. On the oth

      • by hedwards (940851)
        It's not that tough, you just tax the fuel and let things sort themselves out. Rather than doing a electricity versus gas, what you do is a coal versus hydro versus nuclear versus solar versus wind etc., and tax them based upon impact. Eventually that will come to a natural balance in the most efficient way. Providing that you're providing adequate oversight and regulation to the process. One of the reasons why here in Seattle we have such phenomenal fleet fuel efficiency is that we pay more than pretty mu
    • by lapsed (1610061)
      The Volt uses an internal combustion engine to recharge its batteries and the Leaf is strictly electric -- it's a straightforward difference. What's 'foreignness'?
      • What's 'foreignness'?

        I think the GP meant a non-American brand vehicle (not GM, Ford, or Chrysler).

      • I was talking about fuel sources. "Foreignness" of a fuel source is often seen as a drawback; because it commonly implies a degree of vulnerability to geopolitical price shocks and/or serious externalities that hide out in the DoD budget...

        Because that is a common concern, it made my list of examples of factors by which one might judge various fuels, in coming up with an "efficiency" number. Coming up with those factors, and putting precise weights on them, won't be trivial; but it would serve the except
  • GM didn't appy. (Score:5, Informative)

    by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:10PM (#33064346)

    http://www.evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1896 [evworld.com]

    According to GM spokespersons Robert Peterson in Michigan and Shad Balch in California, GM decided in 2007 when it committed to series production of the Volt, to not seek California Air Resources Board AT-PZEV certification. Instead, the decision was made to certify the car in all 50 United States. ARB certification would have required, both GM executives explained, additional testing and since California's air quality regulators had yet to figure out how to classify the Volt, GM felt it was more important to continue the accelerated development program and get the car out by the Fall of 2010 then wait for ARB to come up with a way to categorize what will be for many drivers essentially an all-electric car, while for other who driver further distances each day, a hybrid.

  • As Frances Cairncross and others have argued, the best way to figure out this whole issue is a carbon tax. Tax fuels based on their carbon content. Refund it back through payroll tax credits (or other means) for lower income people who will feel more of an impact. Direct proceeds to mass transit or basic R&D for fuel efficiency/alternative fuels/etc. Then get the hell out of the way and let the free market work its magic. People saying, "Man, $5/gallon is expensive, maybe I should buy a more fuel effici
    • by BoberFett (127537)

      This will never happen because politics in the US is not about finding practical solutions that everyone can live with. It's about mercilessly beating one another into submission and then declaring your ideology victorious and proceeding to make all the same mistakes that your opponent would have made had he won instead.

  • After over three years of living in California, the HOV lane policy continues to drive me nuts.

    Firstly, why should driving a more fuel efficient car give one the ability to drive in the "high occupancy" vehicle lane? If the intention of this lane is to give incentive for people to carpool, then this makes no sense. Further, the state stopped giving out these passes. It essentially created an elitist class of early adopter Prius/Honda Insight purchasers that get to use this lane. So, if the legislature decid

    • by El_Oscuro (1022477) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:53PM (#33064660) Homepage
      Here in DC, we have Slug Lanes [slug-lines.com]. It is informal, not run by any government which is why it actually works. Essentially, commuters wishing to use an HOV lane pick 2 people waiting at bus stops or parking lots so they can. So as a result, you do actually get cars off the roads. Of course, if the government managed it, it wouldn't work.
      • by nelsonal (549144)
        I love how slug lines show the lengths that middle class Americans will go not to ride a bus.

        Of course, my DC area commute is by metro and not by bus either.
      • Of course, if the government managed it, it wouldn't work.

        So let me get this straight; You think that the government could never organize something like Slug Lanes, and yet the government is the one who set up the HOV lane on the highway in the first place. The government is instrumental in the smooth functioning of slug lanes!

        You should consider taking a step back from your anti-government ideology and realize that just like any large organization, sometimes things are done right and sometimes they are done wrong. Government is no different from any other large bureaucracy.

  • I've you've ever been to the sf bay area during rush hour, most commuters would give their left nut for the ability to drive in HOV lanes. This will be /huge/ - the volt, with it's integrated range extending gas engine seems like a better idea than the all-electric leaf, but the market value of a HOV sticker, even without the rebates has got to be five or ten grand.

  • That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:39AM (#33065704) Homepage

    California is full of idiots who keep electing uber-idiots to office.

    Sorry, this is a clear case of typical short-sightedness of politicians. They pass legislation without thinking half a thought about it (heck they pass it without reading it). The result is stupid stuff like this.

    (ie: crux of the problem, the Volt's motor is NOT low enough emission for California's liking. So they totally dismiss the fact that said motor will run far less often than an average motor.)

    If they passed the law based on an avg. miles per year and the waste emitted on a yearly basis, the Volt would easily make the muster. This is akin to the problem some states had with the Prius. People could not register their Prius' because they could not pass the state emission tests. Because the testing equipment was incompatible with a hybrid vehicles operation. So wait, we have a cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicle but can't register it because of EMISSIONS testing. WTF.)

    Let's not even get into the fact that my Prius must run the motor for a few minutes, wasting gas, in order to warm up the catalytic converter. Thus, if I am taking a 5 minute drive down the street. I have to emit extra pollutants thanks to environmental regulations. Our government should have made an exception to having to have the catalytic converter warmed up, and allowed for a gradual warming.

    Just stupidity....worse, we elected this stupidity.

    Guess that makes us (Americans) stupid!

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