GM Officially Confirms 2013 Chevy Spark Minicar, Spark EV Electric Version

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2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar unveiled in Detroit, October 2011

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar unveiled in Detroit, October 2011

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General Motors has just officially, finally confirmed news that this site has previously reported:

New front-end styling

The 2013 Spark shown this morning on stage in Detroit at a celebration of Chevrolet's 100th birthday has a slightly restyled front end, very possibly to comply with U.S. safety standards that differ from those in Asia and Europe, where the car is already on sale.

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar

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The U.S. version of the Spark will be fitted with a 83-horsepower, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, the smallest engine sold in any GM model since the days of the three-cylinder Geo Metro almost two decades ago.

A five-speed gearbox will be standard, and an automatic option will also be available.

The 2013 Chevy Spark is 4 inches longer than a 2012 Fiat 500, but 14 inches shorter than the just-released 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. Unlike the Sonic, though, the 2013 Spark minicar will be offered only as a five-door hatchback; there is no sedan version.

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV dashboard

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV dashboard

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First all-electric car since EV1

The electric Spark will have a battery pack of roughly 20 kilowatt-hours capacity, just slightly higher than that of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric cars. Its lithium-ion cells provided by A123 Systems [NSDQ:AONE].

GM announced last month it would award a cell supply contract to A123 for an electric vehicle, but didn't specify which vehicle it was for at the time.

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV cutaway

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV cutaway

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According to GM, "Feedback from participants in Chevrolet’s electric vehicle demonstration fleets in Shanghai (Sail EV), Korea (Cruze EV) and India (Beat EV) are being incorporated into the Spark EV."

But the company declined to specify the Spark EV's expected battery range, price, or launch date. And it said only that the car would be targeted at "urban areas," in a "limited" number of regions.

Sell or lease?

The Chevy Spark EV will be the company's first all-electric production model since the GM EV1 two-seater launched 13 years ago. All EV1s were subsequently taken back by the company and crushed or disabled.

Electric-car advocates with long memories will be watching with interest to find out whether GM plans to sell or lease the Spark EV--which may indicate whether that car could suffer a similar fate to the late, lamented EV1.


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Comments (18)
  1. Can't wait to hear the price point.

  2. Not only the price point, John, but the range of the battery. Wouldn't it be great if it could actually get 100 miles per charge in actual day-to-day use.

  3. That cut-away picture looks like it is of the gasoline version and not the EV version as captioned.

  4. @Neal: Uhhhh, no. That's the pack at the rear (far too large to be a gas tank), with the electric traction motor and power electronics under the hood.

  5. I was referring to the radiator and fan assembly in the front of the Spark plus it just looks like an ICE in there and not electric motor set-up. Look close John. Just what else is all that equipment up-front? I can see the battery pack OK. Maybe it takes a radiator and fan to keep everything cool. ??

  6. After looking very closely at the Hi-Res picture of the cut-away, John Voelcker is correct (Damn, when have I ever found him wrong? Answer: Never.). Sorry I ever doubted you John. YOU THE MAN!

  7. [blush]

  8. If the batter is really a 20 kilowatt-hours capacity pack and the car gets 18 miles per kwh as depicted in the dashboard picture, the range computes to 360 MPC. Now that would be really great. Am I wrong in my findings?

  9. That is "battery" not batter. Typo -- Sorry...

  10. @Neal: I agree with your math, but I have a strong suspicion that the "18 mi/kWh" comes from a design director putting in a number without any idea what it means. I'll see if I can find out, though. If GM actually makes the Spark EV go 18 miles per kWh, they will have done something ... errrr ... very remarkable indeed, LOL.

  11. Remarkable, yes. Wonderful, even more so. Just think, match Tesla in mileage.

  12. This car has a 20 kWhr pack and the Leaf has a 24 kWhr pack.

    Correct me if I am wrong but it looks to me like the range of this car will be LESS than the Leaf.


  13. You would assume so, Kyle.'s hoping (but I doubt it will do any good).

  14. There are more comments in this thread
  15. Comparing this nasty looking contraption with the charismatic EV-1 only increases my feeling of loss...I wonder if GM isn't making the same mistake as Coda here. Putting an expensive EV drivetrain in a bargain basement body shell doesn't really seem like a recipe for commercial success....

  16. Well, Chris O, that depends on cost of production, selling price and popularity. If they hit all three pretty solid they could have a true winner. We will know in about 4 or 5 years, maybe.

  17. So far EV drive trains pan out pretty expensive. What you end up with is an expensive car that just looks cheap. The Fisker/Tesla approach makes more sense to me until battery prices come down.

  18. Who is in charge of the dumb naming over at Chevy… Spark? Volt? Cruze? It’s something an average 12-year-old could come up with.

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