California prides itself as being a green mecca, inviting inventions and high technology and grooming early adopters with special HOV lane access and tax credits on alternative fuel vehicles. Well, mostly. It seems like California has soured on hybrids in HOV lanes, recently revoking the Prius’s access to this less-traveled road.

At least the Prius was allowed in for a time though. In a rather shocking turn, California has not only denied the Chevy Volt access to the HOV lane, it also won’t get any state tax credits. Zing!

I am a pretty patriotic dude. I love America, and I tend to have a pro-America bias, especially when it comes to cars. So it really baffles me that California would just totally shut the Volt out, especially when it is giving the Nissan LEAF both HOV access and makes it eligible for a $5,000 state tax credit. That means the Nissan LEAF will cost around $20,000 in California when it goes on sale and gets access to Cali’s HOV lanes… even though its range means it won’t be traveling long highway trips, as that battery will go down quickly at highway speeds.

Of course some of the fault lies with GM. The bigwigs there decided they would rather get the Volt to production by the fall of 2010 than take the extra time aligning the Volt with California’s strict emissions requirements. Given that just 800 LEAFs will be able to tap into the $5,000 tax credit, maybe GM was right to concentrate on getting the Volt to market ASAP. Still, I’m miffed that Nissan gets these tax credits, and the Volt gets shut-out. Way to go California.

Source: Green Car Reports

Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.