The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will be priced at less than $32,500 and be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and added incentives in several states. Now that GM leads electric car sales in the United States with the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, it will go after urban dwellers who want a less expensive city EV. This all-electric 5-door, 4-seat, city car is less than the Nissan LEAF and more than the Mitsubishi i.
With the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet accounts for more than 50 percent of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in the United States and Spark EV builds on Chevrolet’s proven electric motor and battery development programs. When it goes on sale summer 2013, the Spark EV is expected to have among the best EV battery range in its segment and be the first electric vehicle to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability, enabling the Spark EV to reach 80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes.
Public charge station providers, such as NRG, Blink, and AeroVironment all ready offer CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging for the LEAF and Mitsubishi i. This Chevrolet announcement will encourage them to add the SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability to existing and new stations.
“When you engineer a technology-filled, all-electric mini car that goes from zero-to-60 mph in less than eight seconds, customers won’t miss the gas,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “The Volt and now the Spark EV show that Chevrolet not only knows EVs better than anyone else, we also know how to help customers get the most out of their EV experience.”
Inside the Spark EV are two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch color LCD screens, including a confidence gauge that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions.
Hands-free Navigation and Music including Apple’s Siri
Spark EV also will keep urban drivers musically connected with Chevrolet’s exclusive MyLink radio that comes standard and safely brings smartphone-based infotainment – including apps for BringGo full-function navigation, TuneIn global internet radio, Pandora and Stitcher – into the vehicle.
Drivers with Apple iPhone 4S and newer can integrated Siri with MyLink to use the car’s voice system to integrate with Siri for navigation and entertainment. For Apple customers who are unhappy with Apple’s latest map/navigation app, Apple is planning an upgrade and Google is planning to makes its Maps app downloadable to iPhones.
In addition to previously announced markets including California and South Korea, Spark EV will also go on sale in participating dealerships throughout Oregon, Canada and other global markets. Spark EV will be eligible for coveted high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in California.
Spark EV has Advanced Electric Motor and Lithium Battery
Spark EV is powered by an advanced electric motor and battery system. It consists of a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor that together deliver 130 hp (110 kW) and 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque for instant acceleration; and a more than 20-kWh lithium ion battery is expected to provide among the best EV range performance in its segment.
The drive unit and motor will be assembled of U.S. and globally sourced parts at GM’s White Marsh, Maryland. This is the first time a U.S. automaker has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.
Spark EV’s long-life battery is designed to be safe, durable and reliable, and is warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles. It consists of a 560-pound (254 kg) square lithium-ion battery pack with a volume of 133 liters, comprising 336 prismatic cells.
“The Spark EV battery has undergone more than 200,000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs,” said Pamela Fletcher, Chevrolet executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles. “It is extremely durable and has undergone the same abuse tolerance testing as the Volt battery.”
Spark EV includes new Combo DC for 20-minute Fast Charge
I have been able to drive my Nissan LEAF beyond its normal 60 to 100 mile range, because I have used DC Fast Charge stations in my area. My LEAF has 2 separate chargers, one for Level 1 and 2, and a second for DC Fast Charge.
The Spark EV will be the first electric car to offer a Combo charger that can do all of that with a single charge port, saving money and weight. Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes. A common on-board charging receptacle accommodates all three charging platforms – DC Fast Charge, AC 240V and AC 120V.
Using a dedicated 240V outlet, Spark EV recharges in less than seven hours with a Level 2 charger. Owners can coordinate charging according to departure time or during off-peak electricity rates. They also can manage and monitor the vehicle remotely via computer at OnStar.com, or with a special Chevrolet Mobile App powered by OnStar Remote Link. The Spark EV comes with three years of standard OnStar service.
Customers who do a far amount of long-distance highway driving may prefer the larger Chevrolet Volt with 35-miles of electric range and about 380 miles of total range. They will pay about $7,000 more than the Spark EV. People with two-cars will rarely be concerned about range, even is one is all-electric like the Spark EV which is likely to shine in city environments. They’ll save a small fortune by never needing gas, finding street parking too small for big cars, and saving on maintenance. Plus, the Chevrolet Spark EV will be fun to drive.