The next generation of Chevy Volts will be a little more enticing to California residents now that GM has said they will make them eligible for an extra $5,000 CA state tax rebate — that is on top of the $7,500 federal tax rebate. The first generation of Volts didn’t qualify for the rebate because they didn’t comply with California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) specifications which state that the batteries in the vehicles must be guaranteed to last for ten years and/or 150,000 miles. GM announced that their new Volt batteries will be AT-PZEV-compliant bringing the $41,000 price tag for California residents down to a more affordable $28,500.

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AT-PZEV regulations are part of a larger push by California’s state legislature to ensure that the vehicles being driven in California are on the road to being cleaner. The state set up the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements — of which the AT-PZEV rebate is part of — in 1990 as part of a push to limit greenhouse gasses in the state. They require that all vehicle manufacturers have a certain increasing number of low emission vehicles on the road. Vehicles that qualify for the $5,000 rebate are defined as vehicles that have, “near zero emissions and extended emissions system warranty,” and use, “a ZEV fuel such as electricity or hydrogen. Examples include plug-in hybrids or hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles.” The first generation of Volts carried a GM warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles which didn’t stand up to the lofty California, “extended emissions system warranty,” specifications.

The new line of Chevy Volts will hit the streets in 2012 and for now the army of cars that have already been delivered in California were purchased without the $5,000 rebate — and without the promise that the batteries would last 10 years. The Honda Civic Hybrid, the Prius Hybrid and the Nissan Leaf all already qualify for the AT-PZEV rebate.

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Photos courtesy of General Motors