General Motors has faced a series of challenges getting its Chevy Volt up to the numbers it had hoped to reach by this time. The recall by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to post-crash-test battery fires stalled production, but that was resolved. Demand is cranking up for the extended range electric car in California with special state incentives and state gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon. Lower demand had prompted GM to shut down product for five weeks in April and May, and there might be a three-week shutdown this summer at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. That’s a problem for California dealers, who are seeing more car shoppers ask about the Volt lately than in the past year.
California residents accounted for about 23% of Volt buyers through the first quarter, according to R.L. Polk. The carpool lane stickers that the Volt receives in California are helping push sales for the product. It’s more difficult to supply the California market because Volts must have a special low-emissions package for owners to qualify for special state incentives. And the package cannot be added after production. The Volt does help GM raise its share in the state, so it has been worth it to bring the car to this market and comply with California requirements.