Published November 28, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Yesterday Chevrolet introduced its 2014 Spark EV ahead of its scheduled presentation at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
The EV version of the Spark is a five-door urban mini car that will be priced under $25,000 when factoring tax incentives.
Chevrolet says that 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.”
In addition to previously announced markets including California and South Korea, the Spark EV will go on sale in participating dealerships throughout Oregon, Canada and other global markets.
The Spark EV will be eligible for high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in California.
The little electric car is powered by a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor that together deliver 130 horsepower (110 kw) and 400 pound-feet (542 Nm) of torque. Chevrolet has not yet stated the battery size, but says it is “a more than 20-kwh lithium ion battery.”
Chevrolet did say the battery consists of a 560-pound (254 kg) square lithium-ion battery pack with a volume of 133 liters, comprising 336 prismatic cells. It will be under a special GM warranty for eight 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.”
Both the drive unit and motor will be assembled of U.S. and globally sourced parts at GM’s White Marsh, Md., manufacturing facility. GM says 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.
The Spark EV will be the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability. This option will allow to 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 240 volt and AC 120 volt. Using a dedicated 240-volt outlet, Spark EV recharges in less than seven hours.
Interestingly, Chevrolet says that designers and aerodynamic engineers added the equivalent of about 2.5 miles of real-world range by fine-tuning the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
More information will be available by the end of the week, when the Los Angeles Auto Show begins.