2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

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Thread: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive
    MotorTrend
    November 18, 2012
    by Benson Kong

    Chris Twarog, energy and battery integration engineer for General Motors, hit the nail on the head as he talked me through a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV cutaway demo unit. I'll paraphrase his noteworthy remark: While the plain-Jane, 84-horsepower, 1.2-liter Spark (with rear drum brakes and optional four-speed automatic) isn't the model of a technically advanced car, its battery-electric variant is -- in spades.

    You read it right. The A-segment hatchback that moonlights as an Autobot benefits from a wide array of efficiency enhancing technologies during its EV transformation, despite looking more or less the same as its exhaust-emitting sibling. But electrification is the major difference between the Spark and the Spark EV, so let's get the main components out of the way. Down in front, between the drive wheels, lies a permanent-magnet electric motor. At the core level, it incorporates teachings from the Volt and other eAssist and Two-Mode hybrid efforts. Offering motive force through the single-speed reduction transaxle, the motor is preliminarily rated for more than 134 horsepower and around 400 lb-ft of torque.

    A brief spurt around the block reveals a playful demeanor, and because the seating position is expectedly high due to the Spark EV's tall profile, you feel like you're sitting over the car's center of gravity. The steering is accurate on-center at low speeds, but final judgment is reserved until a more comprehensive drive is performed. Torque steer manifests in a relatively smooth, straight line, but there's apparent counteracting damping in place (presumably software-based) as the steering wheel does slow heaves, not twitches. I'm under the impression the electrically assisted steering is still under development.

    Full article at link.

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 Ambalanche's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    This is an impressive car! I've seen a couple regular Sparks in the wild and have eaten Crow! I didn't like it in pics, but it looks better in person. Anyway, If they can somehow hold the line in pricing, I really think this could do for Chevrolet, what the Prius did for Turdota! Only in pure electric form!
    Truckin!

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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    We'll know if GM has a hit on their hands if hipsters soil themselves.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 DirtyMoney's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    $30K...a little more than I thought. Bottom line, nice package.
    I didn't go to math school, so I'm not going to do the math.

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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoney View Post
    $30K...a little more than I thought. Bottom line, nice package.
    $30k....would be before rebates, according to MotorTrend. I'll be surprised if it is that cheap.

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    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 ogg vorbis's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    if there's only 1 gear, isn't it redundant to call it an automatic? there are no gear changes.

    the range for a good EV is 4 miles per kWh. i.e. 80+ miles, or 120+ km with a 20 kWh battery.

    If Sparky isn't profitable, at least it shouldn't be a huge loser. With the $8,200 Ontario rebate, it's a $22,000 EV. I hope they can make it in volume.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 DirtyMoney's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    Quote Originally Posted by All Star View Post
    $30k....would be before rebates, according to MotorTrend. I'll be surprised if it is that cheap.
    I get that. I also understand that there is a lot of tech going in this car. But it still remains an A-segment car that looks to be priced at $30,000. I'm also not too sure about ogg vorbis' mileage estimates. By his/her calculations that would put the Volt at a 64 miles range. The Beat EV was estimated at an 80 mile range, though.
    I didn't go to math school, so I'm not going to do the math.

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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    I wonder if they are going to ship the car over here minus engine etc. and install the electric motor and it's works, or ship the motor and battery etc. over there and do the whole thing in S.K. ???
    35 yr. UAW/GM/Delphi retiree Worked in 4 different assembly plants and a Delphi battery plant
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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 MechEng's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    Quote Originally Posted by ogg vorbis View Post
    if there's only 1 gear, isn't it redundant to call it an automatic? there are no gear changes.

    the range for a good EV is 4 miles per kWh. i.e. 80+ miles, or 120+ km with a 20 kWh battery.

    If Sparky isn't profitable, at least it shouldn't be a huge loser. With the $8,200 Ontario rebate, it's a $22,000 EV. I hope they can make it in volume.
    Well GM says the battery is a little larger than 20KWh. And all of that battery is not usable. Green Car reports claims the battery usage is 85%.

    Based on recharge times I caluclated a battery that is 21KWh with 17.8 KWh usable.

    In my Volt I can do anywhere from 4.6 miles/KWh (best) to 2.8 miles/KWh (worst). The Spark is 900lbs lighter than the Volt so it is likely more efficient. I'm guessing an EPA rating of ~68miles for the Spark EV.

    The Ontario rebate for the Spark would be the full $8500 as the battery is bigger than the 17KWh limit. The Volt is in the 16 to 17 KWh bucket which is $8231.
    Last edited by MechEng; 11-20-2012 at 04:37 PM.

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    Re: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Prototype Quick Drive (MotorTrend)

    I really like the Spark, but it's ugly. Why does Opel get a good looking sub compact like the Adam and the US get an ugly bug-eyed one like the Spark?

    I would seriously consider a Spark EV if it looked like the Adam.

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