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The 2012 Chevrolet Volt with a Low Emissions Package will be eligible to drive in the HOV lane  (Source:

GM's Tracking Solar Tree in Warren, Michigan  (Source:
California 2012 Volt drivers with the Low Emissions Package can receive the rebate and HOV access in early 2012

General Motors Co. is making renewable energy a top priority with new ventures that include a Low Emissions Package for Chevrolet Volt drivers in California and a Tracking Solar Tree for EV charging in Michigan.

Californians who have purchased a 2012 Volt will be eligible for a Low Emissions Package starting early 2012. One perk associated with the package is access to California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) traffic lane, which allows drivers to bypass congested traffic by using this lane.

Originally, the HOV lane was only for vehicles with two or more people onboard. This was later changed to allow single occupancy use for those with a low-emissions vehicle. There are currently over 1,400 miles of HOV lanes in California.

"HOV lane access is a coveted perk in California," said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. "The low-emissions Volt will be a strong draw for drivers who commute daily in the most congested driving environments in the United States."

2012 Volt drivers with the Low Emissions Package can apply for one of the 40,000 available HOV lane stickers.

In addition to HOV lane stickers, California Volt drivers with the Low Emissions Package are eligible to receive $1,500 in state rebates via the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Volt drivers will also receive the $7,500 tax credit from the federal government.

But California isn't the only state receiving some clean perks. Michigan has a solar charging canopy called the Tracking Solar Tree, which moves with the sun and helps to charge GM's EVs.

The Tracking Solar Tree was built by Envision Solar in America, and consists of a hybrid multi-axis tracking design. This particular design allows the canopy to move with the sun, collecting more energy from sunlight throughout the day.

"We are constantly looking for places where we can add a renewable focus," said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. "This solar tree is an ideal addition because not only does it provide a space to charge our electric vehicles, but it's another step in our journey toward cleaner energy use."

According to GM, the Tracking Solar Tree is able to increase renewable energy production by about 25 percent due to its movable parts. In addition, the tree will produce up to 30,000-kilowatt hours per year and generate enough solar energy to charge six EVs daily.

The Tracking Solar Tree is currently located at the GM Company Vehicle Operations in Warren, Michigan.

Sources: GM, GM

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By Dr of crap on 11/17/2011 12:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
It has been said a number of times that the true value of owning a Volt comes from the ability of driving around TOWN and only using the battery power. And you see the savings offered from the Volt if you DON'T drive for long distances and have to use the gas generator.
( That sounds like a plug for the Volt, which it isn't, and I would not own that car)

Now this is saying that the HOV lane on the FREEWAY is open to the VOLT! WHAT! Guess GM is trying all angles to sell these things!

And these trees - I hope our tax money will not be used to put these EXPENSIVE things up in parking lots.

By Spuke on 11/17/2011 12:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
Now this is saying that the HOV lane on the FREEWAY is open to the VOLT! WHAT! Guess GM is trying all angles to sell these things!
GM has nothing to do with what car gets HOV access in CA. It's ENTIRELY political.

By Dr of crap on 11/17/2011 4:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, and you don't think the GM MIGHT have made a politcal contribution to someone to get this passed??

Where have you been MR Naive?

By Master Kenobi on 11/17/2011 6:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, not necessary in California. Their idiot politicians do this sort of stuff all the time on their own to keep their ultra liberal voters happy. California likes their reputation as the state that pushes green to the maximum. Consequently they are also the most bankrupt state in the union. Coincidence? I think not.

By Spuke on 11/17/2011 9:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, CA does this sh!t on their own. No help needed from the outside.

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