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Chevrolet to produce all-electric Spark mini car

By

October 13, 2011

An all-electric version of the Spark will be available from 2013

An all-electric version of the Spark will be available from 2013

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After announcing this week that the Spark mini car that is already sold in markets around the world will be available in the U.S. and Canada from next year, Chevrolet has revealed that an all-electric Spark will hit showrooms from 2013. Modeled after the Chevrolet Beat concept that appeared at the 2007 New York Auto Show, the Spark is a five-door, four-passenger hatch designed for urban environments that Chevrolet claims will offer more interior room than other mini cars. It will also be the smallest Chevrolet available in the U.S. and Canada.

While Chevrolet revealed some details of the Spark - 1.2 liter four cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission as standard with automatic also available, heated leatherette seats and alloy wheels - the company was less forthcoming about details on the Spark EV.

Other than the fact the all-electric Spark EV will be sold in limited quantities in select U.S. and global markets from 2013 and will be powered by nanophosphate lithium-ion battery packs supplied by A123 Systems, little else about the vehicle has been announced.

Details on specific markets, range, quantities and pricing for the Spark EV are being held back until a later date - possibly next month's Los Angeles International Auto Show where the ICE-powered Spark is set to be unveiled.

"The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option," said Jim Federico, global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet. "It complements Chevrolet's growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology."

Such comments suggest the range of the Spark EV won't be anything spectacular but long trips aren't what the vehicle is designed for.

"The Spark EV is another step in Chevrolet's plan to provide customers with a variety of electrification solutions to address the lifestyle and transportation needs of people around the world," added Federico.

Here's some video of the Spark EV in action.

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About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
15 Comments

Spark?

is that like in,

"Electric cars built by GM are fire hazards?"

Top men...

dumb marketing choices.

Maybe Ford should bring back the Pinto...

Griffin
13th October, 2011 @ 09:08 am PDT

How fast was that 'Spark' going?!?! I looks like it was traveling only 20 mph..!!! I can ride MY BIKE faster than that!

Max Mad
13th October, 2011 @ 09:39 am PDT

Excuse me, but what makes the Spark `all electric` with a 4cyl OHV engine sitting there? Ummmm. Sounds like a hybrid to me.

JohnMc
13th October, 2011 @ 09:44 am PDT

What a wonderfully informative video.

Actually showed a car w/4 wheels going down the road!

To satisfy the technically inclined it even showed a light going from red to green.

No wonder GM is doing so well.

Pres
13th October, 2011 @ 11:37 am PDT

Their x-ray cutaway looks much more like an IC powered vehicle than any all electric.

Pres
13th October, 2011 @ 12:07 pm PDT

Is it called the Spark due to the sparks that shot out when they unplugged it? Take a look at the very beginning of the video. Definite fire hazard! You don't even have to be hit from behind like the Pinto!

Luddite
13th October, 2011 @ 01:06 pm PDT

That is the most complicated electric motor i've seen. I guess even all-electrics need radiator fluids, etc.

Fred Conwell
13th October, 2011 @ 01:15 pm PDT

The Chevrolet Volt is an overpriced dud and I expect that the Spark will be even worse.

bgstrong
13th October, 2011 @ 01:55 pm PDT

They should add the word "All-" to the name so it can get Optimus Prime's blessing. Ha ha!

Michael Barreto
13th October, 2011 @ 06:08 pm PDT

R E V O L T I N G ! !

Richard C. Edmonds
13th October, 2011 @ 08:58 pm PDT

Most negative comments about any electric car, unless they address SPECIFIC documented problems with a particular car, are posted by disgrunted internal combustion auto mechanics who are afraid they will be forced to learn EV repair manuals.

Misterfact
17th October, 2011 @ 09:18 am PDT

Misterfact: What scares them the most is that pure electrics are so simple it won't take much to fix 'em, but they're so proprietary that only the dealer will be able to get the parts.

Bryan Paschke
17th October, 2011 @ 06:08 pm PDT

Regarding the Spark EV. Lets hope they price it to compete with foreign electric cars and also couple their product with a low cost national solar PV canopy or rooftop supplier.

Using ideas similar to parking above a transformer that will not have to directly be touching the vehicle, or equipping it with a changeout battery could extend the range. If a consumer pays $250 a month for fuel for 12 months the cost is $2400. A solar rooftop unit will create free energy from sunlight for 20-30 years. $2400 x 25 = $60,000. The savings to society in clean healthy air is a side benefit. If they follow the lead of many other forward thinking car companies and utilize a solar assisted factory with a huge robotic labor force, the car should be able to be marketed at less than $20,000.

Consumers able to take advantage of federal and state subsidy incentives for using a renewable energy source, should reduce the cost further. Businesses using the federal tax deduction for roof replacement will benefit from fleet use. Both will make volume sales of electric vehicles coupled with solar payoff. Consumers owning solar will find other benefits than charging their car battery. Cutting their monthly power bill while driving a cleaner transportation means, would appear to benefit many, especially in the current economy.

electric38
19th October, 2011 @ 11:53 pm PDT

Check out an Australian conversion of a Hyundai Getz to full battery car. 0-60km/hr in 5 seconds, top speed of 120km/hr, 160km range around town with normal driving, not the Japanese version of range. They will buy back your car for a set amount after one year, they will upgrade your car to the latest version, you can buy the electrics for repairs if you want, they guarantee it completely for 3 years. Oh, but it is rh drive.

Blade are registered as a manufacturer, though the vehicle is based on the Getz.

www.bev.com.au (blade electric vehicle)

p.s. Not an employee but I have an order in for a car.

bladecar
20th October, 2011 @ 12:07 am PDT

@Luddite, that's not a spark when he unplugged it. If you look closely, it looks like an LED light, presumably there to help the consumer see the charging port.

Floyd Vergara
31st October, 2011 @ 08:30 am PDT
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