2014 Chevrolet Spark EV boasts of segment-leading power, charging ability

Article by Anita Panait, on November 20, 2012

2014 Chevrolet Spark is expected to set a new benchmark for urban electric vehicles when it is rolled out to dealerships in California next summer. First off, the 2014 Spark boasts of an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that provides at least 100 kW (130 hp) of power and about 400 lb.-ft. of torque with the coaxial drive unit.

This permits the 2014 Spark to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than eight seconds, making the electric vehicle a fast model for its segment.  The 2014 Spark also boasts of having the industry-first SAE combo charger, which allows DC Fast Charging of up to 80 percent of battery capacity in just 20 minutes. This fast charging ability, which will be available shortly after Spark’s market launch, is expected to give the electric vehicle one of the best ranges in the segment.

The electric vehicle is powered by an over 20 kWh lithium-ion battery, which carries Chevrolet’s warranty protection of eight years/100,000 miles and has the capability to handle multiple DC Fast Charges daily. The 2014 Spark could also be charged completely in under seven hours using a dedicated 240V charge, with a 120V charge cord set as standard.

Charging of the 2014 Spark can be managed and monitored remotely using the vehicle’s smart phone application, which is provided by OnStar. The Spark EV team managed to leverage the expertise gained from the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt program and the proceeds to use many of the same components and systems. It is estimated that over 75 percent of the Spark’s propulsion system components are from the Volt and GM’s hybrid truck programs.

Larry Nitz, the executive director of GM’s engineering team in global electrification, expressed that the new battery of the Spark EV had been tested for more than 200,000 hours in its battery systems laboratories. The upgrade allowed clients to perform several DC Fast Charges in a day to support convenience and minimize range anxiety.

The team involved in the development of the Spark EV gained its expertise from and utilizes a wide range of systems and components of the innovative Chevrolet Volt program. Much of the components of the Spark EV’s propulsion system are derived from the Volt as well as from the hybrid truck programs of GM.

The drive unit and motor of the Spark EV will be built starting in the first or second quarter of 2013 at the transmission factory of GM in White Marsh. It will be a historic undertaking since an American car manufacturer has never before built both the drive unit and an electric motor for an innovative electric car.

Nitz emphasized that Spark EV is a successful attempt to exhibit the company’s growing capability in battery technologies and in electric motor development. This expertise shall usher its progress in manufacturing modern electric vehicles that accommodate the needs of its customers from different parts of the globe.

Press Release

Spark EV Delivers Exceptional Power, Fast-Charge Capability

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will set a benchmark for urban electric vehicles when it arrives in California dealer showrooms next summer by offering industry-leading EV power, outstanding driving range, and exceptional fast-charge capability.

Spark EV’s driving force is an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that produces at least 100 kW (130 hp) and instantaneous torque of about 400 lb.-ft. with the coaxial drive unit, resulting in 0-60 mph acceleration in less than eight seconds.

Not only is Spark EV quick for its segment, its industry-first SAE combo charger will allow DC Fast Charging of up to 80 percent of battery capacity in approximately 20 minutes. That capability, available shortly after market launch, also will provide EV range among the best in the segment.

Spark EV’s more than 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack will carry on Chevrolet’s tradition of industry-leading warranty protection of eight years /100,000 miles, and is capable of handling multiple DC Fast Charges daily. Charging can also be completed in less than seven hours using a dedicated 240V charge. A 120V charge cord set is standard. Charging can be managed and monitored remotely using the Spark EV’s smart phone application, provided by OnStar.

“Spark EV’s battery has undergone more than 200,000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM’s global electrification engineering team. “This testing paved the way to allow our customers to do multiple DC Fast Charges daily to help alleviate range anxiety and improve convenience.”

The Spark EV team was able to leverage expertise gained on the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt program and uses many of the same components and systems. More than 75 percent of the propulsion system components are from the Volt and GM’s hybrid truck programs.

Spark EV’s motor and drive unit will be manufactured beginning in early 2013 at GM’s transmission plant in White Marsh, Md., near Baltimore. It is the first time a U.S. auto manufacturer has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.

“Spark EV is the latest demonstration of our growing expertise in electric motor and battery technologies – expertise we will need as we grow our portfolio of electric vehicles to address the needs of our global customers,” Nitz said.

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