Chevrolet releases details on the Spark EV
By Dave LeClair
November 16, 2012
Chevy is looking to rewrite the book on electric vehicles with its upcoming Spark EV. GM first announced that Chevrolet would be producing the car a little over a year ago, and now, new details have emerged on the upcoming electric vehicle. It looks like Chevy is aiming to improve overall power, range and charge times for electric vehicles in general.
The powerhouse in the Spark EV is an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor. It produces 100 kW of power, which translates to roughly 130 hp. It is predicted to be able to get from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in a little under eight seconds, which is of course not going to rival a sports car, but is very solid in terms of electric vehicles. Chevy has borrowed heavily from its own Volt and GM’s hybrid truck models to create the propulsion system for the new Spark EV.
When it comes to electric cars, charge time is a major issue. This new model uses a SAE combo charger that will allow DC Fast Charging of up to 80 percent in about 20 minutes. However, that capability will only be available shortly after the launch of the vehicle, so it won't be around when it first launches next year.
A dedicated 240V charging system can achieve a full charge in less than seven hours. Owners can manage charging remotely using the Spark EV's smartphone application.
One thing Chevy has yet to mention is the range on a single charge. Sure, it can charge quickly with DC Fast Charging, but how far can it go? Looking forward, that will be key for the Spark EV. The car is scheduled to hit dealerships in California next summer.