General Motors said the electric version of the Chevrolet Spark minicar will be able to travel 82 miles on a single charge, or seven miles farther than the Nissan Leaf.
The 2014 Spark EV will get 119 miles-per-gallon-equivalent, a calculation created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to give consumers a sense for the potential savings even though pure electric cars like the Spark EV don’t use gasoline. The slightly larger Leaf’s MPG equivalent is 115.
GM executives believe the Spark EV will appeal to urban commuters who don’t need to travel far distances and want a vehicle that’s easy to park.
GM has said the vehicle will be “priced under $25,000 with tax incentives.” It hits showrooms in California and Oregon this summer. The Leaf starts at $28,800 before tax credits.
GM’s Chevrolet Volt, which starts at about $40,000, can travel 38 miles on its battery before a gasoline motor kicks in.
The Spark EV’s 21 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty.
“Being able to provide our customers with the best overall efficiency of any retail EV has always been a key target for the Spark EV engineering team,” said Pam Fletcher, GM executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles. “We’re poised to deliver to the market an EV that’s not just efficient, but also thrilling to drive thanks to the 400 lb-ft torque output of its electric motor.”
The vehicle will be compatible with a new fast-charging system that can provide an 80% charge in 20 minutes, but that must be purchased separately. The Spark EV comes with a 120-volt charging unit. A 240-volt unit charges the vehicle in fewer than seven hours.
GM said it had put the Spark EV through half a million miles of road tests to refine its battery management system and permanent magnet motor. The vehicle is assembled in South Korea, and its motor and drive unit are made at GM’s plant in White Marsh, Md.
Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press.