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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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RE: And yet
By Ringold on 11/17/2011 2:24:39 PM , Rating: 3
China held, combined with Hong Kong, 1.257 trillion, or about 8% of the total outstanding debt stock, as of September according to the Treasury.

If China felt like taking a big loss in the process, it could effectively cripple our ability to borrow more money. The world at the moment I doubt has enough appetite to eat over a trillion dollars when the real return is pretty much negative at this point. We'd be forced to, immediately, move to a surplus budget, or print money (such a bold move would destroy the dollar), or.. default.

Keep in mind our yields are only as low as they are because, for the moment, Europe is such a titanic train wreck. Once that turns around, appetite for them will drop off, both internationally and domestically. Dont fool yourself, we're walking a tight-rope. But you're right in one thing, the debt becomes irrelevant if we would tackle the deficit. Even just a balanced one would make it miniscule over time thanks to growth.

RE: And yet
By Solandri on 11/17/2011 6:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
If China felt like taking a big loss in the process, it could effectively cripple our ability to borrow more money.

The problem with this picture is that we're even in a state where being unable to borrow money is something to be worried about. Somehow, the mentality of the minority of credit card users who carry huge monthly balances without any real plan for ever paying it off, that mentality is pervasive in government.

RE: And yet
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2011 7:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
You nailed it Solandri. The BEST thing that could ever happen to us is if we couldn't borrow debt anymore in the longrun.

Warren Buffet has the right idea:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."

Now that's something we could all get behind! :)

RE: And yet
By Spuke on 11/17/2011 9:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
If China felt like taking a big loss in the process, it could effectively cripple our ability to borrow more money.
Japan could do the same as could the UK or a combination of countries on that list if they so chose. I think, at best, it's a possibility. It's definitely not a certainty. My point is China gets singled out simply because they're the new boogeyman and all the sheeple just follow right along like this is new. The exact same was said about Japan when I was a kid. I guess they're ok now?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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