2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Electric Car To Debut At LA Auto Show

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Chevrolet Spark EV Development Testing in Southern California, March 2012

Chevrolet Spark EV Development Testing in Southern California, March 2012

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It was announced more than a year ago, then test vehicles were shown in March, and now finally the car itself will be unveiled this month.

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, the electric conversion of Chevy's smallest vehicle sold in the U.S., will debut two weeks from today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Chevy said in a statement that

The basics of the electric Spark have been out there for a while now.

The Spark EV's electric motor--which GM will build in Maryland--powers the front wheels and puts out peak power of 85 kilowatts (114 horsepower) and sustained power of about 55 kW (75 hp).

Since that's more powerful than the 84-hp four-cylinder gasoline engine in regular Spark minicars, the Spark EV should have fairly punchy performance for its size.

But sadly for those who yearn for General Motors to build and sell a battery-electric car nationally, the 2014 Chevy Spark EV is strictly a compliance car.

It will be sold in only a handful of regions, primarily California, to satisfy that state's requirements for sales of zero-emission vehicles by the six highest-selling auto companies.

GM's main electric vehicle, the range-extended Chevrolet Volt, doesn't meet the state's zero-emission criteria because it operates using its gasoline engine in some cases.

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV cutaway

2013 Chevrolet Spark EV cutaway

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The Spark EV will use a lithium-ion battery pack with cells supplied by A123 Systems, now going through bankruptcy.

Chevrolet has not yet discussed the Spark EV's electric range, battery-pack capacity, projected MPGe rating, recharging time, onboard charger rating.

The 2014 Chevy Spark EV may, however, be one of the first cars sold in the U.S. to offer quick charging via the new SAE Combo connector.

We'll know more in two weeks, so stay tuned for all our coverage of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.


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Comments (4)
  1. From the spec, it looks like it will be faster than the Leaf, i-MIEV or even potentially the Focus EV...

  2. Actually, even though the Focus EV sports a beefier drivetrain (92~107 kW depending on which number you believe), its top speed has been limited to "only" 84 mph.
    The Leaf (80 kW) starts to cut power at 93 mph.

    The Spark EV performance will be completely dependent on the characteristics of the motor and gearing Chevrolet put in it, how long it can sustain that "peak" power given above, etc.

    Judging from the very limited data we have today: 55 kW sustained is close to the i-MiEV (47 kW), which tops at 80 mph, so I'd expect the Spark to be in the same ballpark as the Focus, and slightly slower than the Leaf.

    Not that this matters anyway unless you plan on racing it...

  3. When people use the word "fast" in automobile, it is usually about acceleration instead of top speed.

    Power and weight impact the acceleration the most. Top speed is impacted by power as well, but aerodynamics and tire resistance play a major part of how much power you need at that speed...

  4. Seriously, quit complaining about "compliance cars", especially when the electric cars are selling so slowly, and California is forcing car companies to make stuff that the market is clearly rejecting.

    Forcing it down the market's throat isn't working, no matter how much you complain.

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