LA: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

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Thread: LA: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

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    LA: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Spark EV to utilize fast charge, wear a price tag of around $25,000.
    www.GMInsideNews.com
    By: Nick Saporito
    November 27, 2012



    Chevrolet is continuing it's electric vehicle expansion with the announcement of the Spark EV. The all-electric version of Chevy's new city car will be General Motors' first gas-free entry into the North American market, and it will also be the first EV to utilize a DC Fast Charge to charge the battery pack in minutes rather than hours.

    With the Spark EV Chevrolet has swapped out the tiny little gas engine found in the traditional spark with a coaxial driven electric motor and a 560-pound lithium battery. The new propulsion system is significantly stouter than the gas engine, meaning this EV is not just environmentally friendly, but also enthusiast friendly in the sense that it will do zero to 60 mph is under eight seconds. Ironically the performance statistic seems a bit low considering the EV will have the equivalent to 130 horsepower and a mind-blowing 400 foot-pounds of electric torque on tap.

    GM is dodging questions about the car's driving range for the time being, though the company states that they expect it to have among the best range in the EV segment. By comparison the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf--both pure EV's claiming best range--can go an average of 76 and 73 miles before needing a charge, respectively.

    Among the high-tech features of the Spark EV will be the first application of SAE's new DC Fast Charge standard. Utilizing DC current, the Spark EV's 20-kwh battery pack should be able to charge to at least 80-percent within 20 minutes. Chevrolet does note that the DC Fast Charge function will not be standard, meaning the more typical AC 120 volt and AC 240 volt will be there as standard fare, which will take the better part of a night to charge the pack.

    Naturally the Spark EV is also getting some other technology upgrades, including a new seven-inch LCD gauge cluster, borrowed straight from the Chevrolet Volt. The new screen means that the little Spark EV will have an impressive two seven-inch screens, because the EV is retaining the Spark's MyLink infotainment system in the center stack as well.

    Initial markets for the Spark EV were also announced. Here in the U.S. expect the car to be on roads in California and Oregon, as well as global markets such as Canada and South Korea. In the U.S. the Spark EV is projected to have a price tag of under $25,000 after a government tax credit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Press Release
    • Expected range among best in EV segment
    • Advanced, U.S.-built motor and drive unit deliver best-in-class acceleration
    • Two seven-inch, high-resolution LCD screens display key vehicle functions and infotainment
    • Initial markets include California, Oregon, Canada, South Korea and other global markets
    • Optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability enables Spark EV to charge to 80 percent in 20 minutes

    The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, introduced today ahead of the Los Angeles International Auto Show, packs smart performance and connectivity technologies into an affordable five-door urban mini car designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination. It will be priced under $25,000 with tax incentives.

    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 next summer, 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.

    “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, critical vehicle functions are clearly and intuitively displayed on one of the vehicle’s 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.

    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. Apple’s Siri will ride shotgun, for customers with compatible (4S and newer) 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.

    The soul of Spark EV

    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, Md., manufacturing facility, and 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.”

    Leading the charge

    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. 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.

    Energy-saving exterior; tech-filled interior

    In developing the Spark EV, Chevrolet set out to help customers conserve as much total energy as possible to maximize battery range. One important way to achieve that is by improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics. By evaluating every detail of the gasoline-powered Spark, designers and aerodynamic engineers added the equivalent of about 2.5 miles of real-world range.

    Spark EV colors include Electric Blue, Black Granite, Summit White, Silver Ice and Titanium. Inside, designers sought to create a comfortable and spacious cockpit with noise-reduction features and a combination of bright accents in Electric Blue and chrome.
    Last edited by nsap; 11-28-2012 at 09:34 AM.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    I wish the gasoline model looked like this.
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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    It will be priced under $25,000 with tax incentives.
    Does "under $25,000 with tax incentives" mean incentives are yet to be applied to that number? Or $25,000 is after the incentives are applied? (I'm guessing the latter.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfn99 View Post
    I wish the gasoline model looked like this.
    Agreed. The front looks a lot more cohesive. It has a softer/smoother appearance and I like what they did to the lower intakes (faux or otherwise).


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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Game changer once again. The youth will have a love affair with the Spark EV.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfn99 View Post
    I wish the gasoline model looked like this.
    You've got a good eye. Yes this looks way better than the gas version. I wouldnt mind driving this thing around town at all.
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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    All thumbs up here but for 3 fairly significant issues: 1) availability; hard to see why it couldn't have hit the same initial markets the Volt did; GM's claim that this isn't just a CA compliance car looks pretty unconvincing; 2) price; I was really hoping the sticker would land under $30k before federal rebates and incentives, and it's hard to see why they need to add $18K (!) to the price of a fully loaded gasoline Spark, no?; I'm starting to wonder if manufacturers are gaming these government incentives to keep their prices up and demand low; 3) 220V charging is stuck in the slow lane at 3.3KW; no new EV should go without a 6.6KW option, which maximizes the Level 2 charging. Of all of these negatives, the last one is the biggest gaffe that GM is making with the Spark EV, lagging the competition from Ford and Nissan.
    Last edited by yamahr1; 11-27-2012 at 08:56 AM.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Quote Originally Posted by yamahr1 View Post
    All thumbs up here but for 3 fairly significant issues: 1) availability; hard to see why it couldn't have hit the same initial markets the Volt did; GM's claim that this isn't just a CA compliance car looks pretty unconvincing; 2) price; I was really hoping the sticker would land under $30k before federal rebates and incentives, and it's hard to see why they need to add $18K (!) to the price of a fully loaded gasoline Spark, no?; I'm starting to wonder if manufacturers are gaming these government incentives to keep their prices up and demand low; 3) 220V charging is stuck in the slow lane at 3.3KW; no new EV should go without a 6.6KW option, which maximizes the Level 2 charging. Of all of these negatives, the last one is the biggest gaffe that GM is making with the Spark EV, lagging the competition from Ford and Nissan.
    I agree that GM should launch the Spark EV in other markets, such as Austin in particular.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    I wonder how hard it would be to move the electric motor to the rear axle...
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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Syclone478 View Post
    Does "under $25,000 with tax incentives" mean incentives are yet to be applied to that number? Or $25,000 is after the incentives are applied? (I'm guessing the latter.)
    $25,000 with states after incentives. So about $32,000/$32,500 before.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    0-60 in 8 seconds, yet they can't produce a regular compact or subcompact that does the same?

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    0-60 in 8 seconds, yet they can't produce a regular compact or subcompact that does the same?
    You have to remember that torque in an EV is instant with no power curve.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Am I blind, or are they not saying what this little tyke's range is?

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    I'm curious if Spark EV unit sales will eat into the Federal tax rebate availability .

    Are incentives based on "x units per manufacturer" or "x units per model" or is there another formula ?
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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    200k cars per manufacturer, but that will probably increase..

    $18k premium?.. $12k out of that is the battery.

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    Re: Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun

    Quote Originally Posted by AMcA View Post
    Am I blind, or are they not saying what this little tyke's range is?
    My guess about 80 miles, more than twice the daily average commute.

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