Rumor has it that GM is working on a modified (improved?) Chevy Volt to be delivered in the Golden State no later than 2013. Many Californian Volt fans were no doubt disappointed when in October the California Air Resources Board tagged the Volt as an ULEV or Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle. Why would one be upset with a car being labeled ULEV? Well, because in California ULEV is soooooo 20th century. All three of the following ratings are ranked higher than the Volts current status.
SULEV Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle
PZEV Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle
AT-PZEV Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle
It seems the sole reason GM's vehicle is in the fourth spot and not the first is an extra 2 years or 50,000 miles of warranty. Your guess is as good as mine as to how a couple years of warranty can make a car greener. Perhaps they feel a vehicle with a weaker warranty will hit the junk yard quicker, thus making it not worth taxpayers money. Regardless, it's that states near bankrupt government handing out the checks so I guess they get to call the shots.
As soon as GM decides to offer the Volt with a 10 year or 150,000 mile warranty it will officially be designated as an AT-PZEV qualifying for an extra 5,000 dollar California state rebate. This is in addition to the federal rebate of 7,500 dollars, potentially bringing the Volts price down into the high 20's. The current warranty backs the electric drive, battery and battery components with an 8 year or 100,000 mile warranty.
Let's just hope the rest of the union won't be having to subsidize this deal. Fingers crossed.