2014 Chevrolet Spark EVEnlarge Photo
It's not all that often that a car company tells customers how to drive its products.
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is a bit different from your average Cruze or Malibu, though. That's why Chevy has published a list of driving tips for owners who may not be used to electric motoring, summarized on an infographic (below).
Many of the tips are intended to help drivers make the most of the Spark's EPA-rated range of 82 miles.
Chevy, for example, reminds drivers to recharge the car daily and take advantage of public charging stations when possible.
EV Etiquette infographic for 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV ownersEnlarge Photo
The Spark EV comes standard with 240-Volt charging capability; an SAE Combo DC Fast Charging system will be optional, starting later this year.
There's even a note on the ever-evolving state of charging station decorum.
Courteous electric-car drivers move their cars as soon as they're done charging, or leave a note that gives other drivers permission to unplug their car if it is fully charged, Chevy says.
The infographic also says that when a range-extended electric or plug-in hybrid car is plugged into a charging station, "etiquette dictates" that it should surrender the space to an all-electric vehicle.
We rather wonder whether Chevy is making equal efforts to let its 46,500 Volt owners know about their second-class status.
Another important tip is to look out for pedestrians; the Spark EV is designed for urban driving, but its near-silent electric powertrain doesn't provide much of an audible warning to jaywalkers.
Chevy hastens to reassure nervous drivers that the Spark EV comes with a Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function, which emits a light chirp to make people aware of the car's presence.
Owners can set the sound to activate automatically in Drive or Reverse at speeds below 18 mph.
The last tip simply notes that owners of plug-in electric cars become advocates and ambassadors for the benefits of electric driving.
"Expect to get lots of questions about Spark EV," it says.
"Take these opportunities to spread the advantages of going gas-free"--an experience most current electric-car drivers will have under their belts by now.
The 2014 Chevy Spark EV is currently available only in California and Oregon. It starts at $26,685 before the $7,500 Federal income-tax credit or other incentives.
Chevy plans to sell the electric Spark in Canada, Europe, and South Korea as well.