2014 Chevrolet Spark EV
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Summer 2013
Expected Pricing: $32,500
After bringing this subcompact hatchback to the U.S. earlier this year, Chevrolet unveiled the all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark at the 2012 LA Auto show.
The 2014 Spark EV will be powered by an electric motor and coaxial drive unit designed in-house by GM that generates the equivalent of 130 horsepower and a whopping 400 pound-feet of torque. Torque is that force that propels you from intersections and up hills and 400 pound-feet is a lot of power. Chevrolet claims its 20-kWh lithium ion battery will give the Spark EV one of the best ranges in the segment but hasn't yet said exactly what that range will be.
GM's smallest car, the Spark is about the size of the Mitsubishi i electric car and about the length of a Mini Cooper. The Spark EV uses the same wedge-shaped body as the gasoline-powered version with the same high-strength steel underneath. However, the Spark EV features additional aerodynamics to reduce drag and improve range.
The motorcycle-inspired cockpit of the Spark EV features two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch color LCD screens that display vehicle information, including a so-called confidence gauge, which shows the expected driving range.
Connectivity comes standard on the Spark EV, including Chevrolet's new MyLink radio interface that allows users to stream content from their smartphones via apps like Pandora and BringGo navigation.
The Spark EV can be charged via three platforms, including an optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charger (a first for an all-electric vehicle in North America). Using this method, the battery can charge to 80 percent of its capacity in about 20 minutes. With a 240-volt outlet, Chevrolet says the Spark EV recharges in less than seven hours. No word on how long it will take on a regular 120-volt household outlet, although we imagine it will be significantly slower.
The sticker price for the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is about $32,500 before incentives, or about $25,000 for taxpayers who qualify for a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government for buying an electric vehicle. At $25,000, the Spark would cost less than the Ford Focus Electric or Nissan Leaf, but more than the Mitsubishi i.
California, which has mandated the sale electric cars, and Oregon will get the Spark EV first, in addition to Canada and South Korea. An official on-sale date has not been released.