Production meant for California should start right about now and then GM will include all the other CARB States; Oregon, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire from October 2015 to January 2016.
Here’s the previous timeline showing nationwide availability by November 2015:
The updated timeline is a great example of the effectiveness of the CARB standard and Zero-Emission Vehicle rules (ZEV) to make EVs more available to potential buyers, but unfortunately it penalizes buyers in non-CARB states who might have to rethink their options if they were planning to buy a 2016 Volt.
In CARB states, car manufacturers have to sell a predetermined number of zero-emission vehicles to counterbalance their sales of gas-guzzling vehicles. If they don’t sell enough zero-emission vehicles, they have to pay fines.
The delay could indicate that GM is expecting the new Volt to be quite a popular vehicle and therefore want to focus on sales in CARB states for as long as possible in order to maximize profit. Considering the new Volt will have an increased range of 53 miles on all-electric mode and a more conventional look, it wouldn’t be surprising if GM manages to be production constrained just from CARB states.