2014 Chevrolet Spark EV - First Drive, Portland, July 2013Enlarge Photo
We understand that a supplier for the 200-mile electric car has been given a production volume of just 1,800 cars over two years.
This could be erroneous; it could be a misinterpretation, or the volume of just the first batch of cars. But it could also represent total planned production--at least of this vehicle in this configuration.
And if it's accurate, it means a Chevrolet Sonic EV would be strictly a compliance car to let GM meet California's zero-emission vehicle mandate for 2017 and 2018.
Though it does beg the question, what battery-electric vehicle will come next from GM--in 2020 or so?
The Chevrolet Sonic today is sold as a five-door hatchback and a four-door sedan.
Which of those bodies would be used for a Sonic EV is open to debate, and depends on the volume that will be produced.
If the Sonic EV is to be sold globally, we suspect it would be the hatchback, a body style far more popular for subcompact cars outside North America than the four-door sedan.
Subcompact sedans are a rarity in Europe and some parts of Asia, so we're betting on the hatchback.
If, on the other hand, the volume prediction of 1,800 cars is accurate, then it will be solely a North American compliance car--and Chevy will use whichever body proves easiest to adapt to battery power.
STYLING & BRANDING
If the 200-mile electric car is an adaptation of the Sonic platform, it would likely follow the lead of the current Spark EV and retain the same shape as the gasoline version of the car.
We'd expect revised instruments and controls to reflect those of the next-generation Volt, which will precede it--just as the Spark EV uses many parts of the current Volt interface today.
And externally, we'd expect a blanked-off grille opening with a silver insert that would echo the 2016 Volt's updated styling.
What the U.S. would know as a Chevrolet Sonic EV, by the way, would be called the Chevy Aveo EV in much of the rest of the world (if it were to be sold outside North America).