Chevrolet presented the 2014 Spark EV before its scheduled debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The relatively inexpensive five-door urban mini car features smart performance and connectivity technologies so that the journey is never boring. It is priced at slightly below $25,000 with tax incentives.
Including the Volt, Chevrolet makes up over 50% of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in the U.S. In addition, the Spark EV builds on Chevrolet’s proven electric motor and battery development programs.
When the Spark EV begins selling next summer, it is likely to boast one of the most impressive EV battery range in its segment. It would also be the first electric vehicle to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability, allowing the Spark EV to have an 80% battery charge in only 20 minutes.
The interior of the Spark EV features two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch colour LCD screens that clearly display the significant vehicle functions. It comes with a confidence gauge that displays the estimated driving range based on conditions such as driving habits. Powering the Spark EV is an advanced electric motor and battery system.
It comprises a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor that jointly deliver 130 hp (110 kW) and 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque for instant acceleration. It is also equipped with a more than 20-kWh lithium ion battery that’s likely to offer one of the best EV range performance in its segment.
GM’s manufacturing facility in White Marsh, Md., will build the drive unit and motor, using parts that are sourced from the U.S. and other countries. This would mark the first time that a U.S. automaker has assembled both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the U.S.
While there are already a number of all-electric vehicles being marketed in North America, the Spark EV will be the first of such vehicles to offer the SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability as an option.
Customers who decide to have this will experience having their battery charged to as much as 80% of the full capacity within 20 minutes. In addition, an on-board common charging receptacle is available as well which allows for the three charging platforms to operate. These are AC 120V, AC 240V, and DC Fast Charge. Through the 240-volt outlet, recharging the Spark EV would take at most 7 hours.
Owners can actually monitor and even manage their vehicles remotely by accessing OnStar.com. For those who have a more active lifestyle, it can be done through a Chevrolet Mobile App which is powered by OnStar Remote Link. Through this, owners can organize how their vehicle is charged whether they want to do it when electricity rates are lower or want it to finish charging by departure time.
The Spark EV comes with OnStar service as a standard and is good for three years. When Chevrolet started the development of the Spark EV, the goal was to find a way to maximize the range offered by the battery while making sure that customers would be able to save as much energy as possible. In order to make this happen, the brand knew that it had to improve the aerodynamics.
Thus, the design team worked with the aerodynamic engineers to study each detail of the gas-powered version. The result was that they were able to put in an extra real-world range of around 2.5 miles.
Design was not taken for granted with the Spark EV offering a variety of colors for the exterior like Black Granite, Electric Blue, Silver Ice, Summit White, and Titanium. For the interior, the design team wanted a cockpit that offers ample amount of space and delivered on comfort. The team used noise-reduction features to meet this goal and even put in bright accents in Electric Blue and combined it with chrome.