Chevrolet Light the Electric Spark

By Kevin | 29th November 2012 | Category: New Car Launches | Leave a comment


It might be a bit late for you to go, but the Los Angeles International Auto Show starts this weekend, featuring over 40 cars debuting, including the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV which, according to the press release, “packs smart performance and connectivity technologies into an affordable five-door urban mini car designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination.” Knowing the American penchant for big gas-guzzling cars (is that still the case or just a stereotypical opinion?), may I be the first to wish them good luck with that.

Chevrolet, already creators of the Chevrolet Volt, actually accounts for more than 50% of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in the United States and when the Spark EV goes on sale next summer, it is expected to have among the best EV battery range in its segment; and considering the size of the USA, it will need it. I can’t imagine there being too many of the electric charging stations at a remote garage in Texas.

But it will also be the first electric vehicle to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability which, in this case means that the Spark EV will be able to reach 80% battery charge in just 20 minutes.

Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. Is pleased with the new car: “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. 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.”

By technology-filled I am guessing he means stuff like the cars’s two reconfigurable, high-resolution, 7” colour LCD screens (including a confidence gauge that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions), Chevrolet’s exclusive MyLink radio (that comes as standard) and safely brings smartphone-based apps for BringGo full-function navigation, TuneIn global internet radio, Pandora and Stitcher within reach of the driver along with Apple’s voce recognition technology Siri for customers with compatible (4S and newer) iPhones.

The Spark EV is powered by an advanced electric motor and battery system assembled completely of U.S. and globally sourced parts at GM’s US manufacturing facility. This is actually the first time that a motor maker based in the USA has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.

For all you American readers out there who still think that an electric car is spawn of the devil, and just as unreliable, let’s give you a few facts about the car:

  • The battery is warranted for 8 years or 100,000 miles. “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.”
  • The battery can be charged to 80% of capacity in about 20 minutes thanks to SAE Combo DC Fast Charge  but also accepts AC 240V and AC 120V which both take longer to fully charge – preferably overnight..
  • It is more aerodynamic than before (adding 2.5 miles to the real-world range) and comes in exciting colours including: Electric Blue, Black Granite, Summit White, Silver Ice and Titanium.

Obviously it can be seen at the Los Angeles Motor Show but over here in the UK there is no news as to when we could expect it.

Shame! It looks good!


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