GM Rolls Out Latest Electric Vehicle The Spark

GM will be rolling out it’s latest electric vehicle, The Chevrolet Spark, at the Los Angeles Auto show this week.  It’s the sister vehicle of the gas-powered Spark.  At 144.7 inches, it’s a small car, but GM has added some nice touches like leather interior.  In addition, the Spark has stability control, ten airbags and a smart phone infotainment system, that gives drivers access to music and navigation apps.  It’s also the first EV in North America to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in 20 minutes. It solves one of the major drawbacks to EV battery technology, lengthy charge times.  The Spark differs from the Volt in that there’s no gas engine as a backup should the Spark run out of charge.  However, with an estimated distance on a single charge, of seventy-six miles, (122 km) there’s more than enough charge for short trips or to run around the neighborhood doing errands.  The Spark’s electric engine generates 130 hp, and is powered by a 20 kWh battery.  Due to its small size, the Spark can reach sixty in under eight seconds, not too shabby.  A single speed transmission, plus low-end torque, explains the impressive acceleration.  The price of the Spark is expected to be $32,500 but $25,000 with the $7,500 government rebate, about twice the price of the gas-powered Spark.  It’s another needed entry in to the EV market as sales have not been climbing as quickly as automakers had hoped.  With gas prices dropping there is less of a sense of urgency and people have short memories.  However, as the prices of EVs continues to fall, and the batteries improve, that will change.  All that’s needed is more time and a concerted commitment to the improvement of the technology.  The Spark EV will be available this summer in California  Oregon, Canada and South Korea where the car is assembled.

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