DETROIT -- General Motors is on pace for one of its strongest sales months yet for the Chevrolet Volt, thanks to a low-emissions model capable of putting California drivers in the coveted car-pool lane.
Several California Chevy dealers say their sales of the plug-in hybrid have doubled or tripled over the past few months since GM began rolling out the revised model that qualifies for California's high-occupancy vehicle sticker.
The HOV sticker allows a single driver of a Volt to use a highway lane normally reserved for cars with at least two, or in some cases three, occupants. Because the HOV lane often is less congested, the sticker is coveted as a way to reduce commuting time.
The first low-emission versions began trickling in during March. Dealers say sales accelerated in May and June as stocks increased.
Ron Vartanian, general manager at Bunnin Chevrolet in Culver City, outside Los Angeles, said his store sold 26 Volts during the second half of May after getting a fresh load of the new models. Before that, he said, the store had been averaging six or seven sales a month.