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Chevy Spark EV specs / reviews

Chevy Spark EV ( One Of The Electric Car )

  • FUEL ECONOMY                                                                                   (CTY/HWY)128/109 mpg
  • CAR TYPE                                                                                                Hatchback
  • TRANSMISSION                                                                                    1-speed Direct Drive
  • BASIC WARRANTY                                                                              3 Yr./ 36000 Mi.
  • BLUETOOTH                                                                                         Yes
  • HEATED SEATS                                                                                    Yes
  • ENGINE TYPE                                                                                        Electric
  • TOTAL SEATING                                                                                    4
  • CYLINDERS                                                                                          Not Available
  • DRIVE TRAIN                                                                                      Front Wheel Drive
  • NAVIGATION                                                                                      Yes

It spins out 105 kW (140 horsepower) and a strong 400 lb-ft of torque. That latter figure, especially, makes us think it’s past time the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) weighed in with a standard for reliable comparisons, but once you drive it, there’s no question this motor’s got muscle. Car and Driverestimates the Spark EV can reach 60 mph in fewer than eight seconds (versus 11-plus for the gas model). We’ll update that number once we’re able to test one with our gear.

On paper, the Spark EV and its 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack most resemble the Honda Fit EV, with enough additional power to shave most of a second off the Honda’s 0-to-60 time. Although we found electrification dulls one of our favorite Hondas, the reverse seems true of the Chevy: It makes a boring car intriguing.

Chevy Spark EV

Just Put It on My Charge

The car’s stated range is 82 miles. GM promises a DC fast-charge option coming this fall. It’s essentially an SAE standard established as the industry’s answer toTesla’s Supercharger, as backed by GM, BMW, Ford, Chrysler/Fiat, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group. The $750 option covers a dedicated plug and electronic control box to hook up with chargers that can deliver a 100-percent charge in 20 minutes and 50 percent in 12. Otherwise, it’s seven hours at 240 volts or 20 at 110.

It’s not only thrust that makes this Spark more interesting. The power transplant is at least partly offset by a not-insignificant 600-pound gain in curb weight, but the extra pounds all sit low in the chassis and more to the rear. The battery pack straddles the rear axle, under the cargo bay and rear seat with no reduction in interior or cargo volume. The center of gravity is more than two inches lower and the front-rear weight distribution close to 50/50. Electric Sparks get four-wheel disc brakes (versus the gas model’s disc-and-drum setup), and their rear tires are wider than the fronts (195/65-15 versus 185/65-15). Recalibrated springs, dampers, and suspension components strive to make good on Chevy’s promise that the Spark EV is “fun to drive,” and they mostly succeed—the handling felt pleasantly balanced and responsive on Portland’s curving parkway roads, the steering a little sharper than in the gas model, if still lacking in feel. Grip might be a concern. Our road test of the gas Spark returned a mediocre 0.79 g on the skidpad, and it’s hard to imagine the low-rolling-resistance Bridgestone rubber on the EV will improve matters. Use the car’s power freely, and the Spark EV seems to rely on electronic traction control more than mechanical grip.

There’s only one gear ratio, but choosing the “L” position on the shift lever gives a more aggressive regenerative-braking map that’s really useful around town. Lift your foot off the accelerator in this mode, and sometimes you don’t need the brake pedal at all, although this “engine braking” effect is less pronounced than in electrics from BMW, Mini, or Honda. The transition from regenerative to friction braking is deftly managed at city speeds.

Homing In on the Range

The EPA rates the Spark EV at 119 mpge in combined driving. Driving the Spark as we would any other fun small car in the city (i.e., no hypermiling games), we used 13.3 kWh of juice over 50-odd miles, and the data displayed on the vehicle’s seven-inch screen showed we had 29 miles of range remaining. A “confidence” meter in the driver information center said we might get as many as 34 more miles if we went gently into the night, or as few as 25 if we kept tap-dancing on the go pedal. It also told us we’d used 13 percent of the battery’s full capacity for the climate control, cooling the cabin to 74 degrees when it was in the high 80s outside. Three distinct heating-and-cooling systems manage the climate for the high-voltage electronics, battery, and cabin. Besides the high-voltage battery, there’s a marine-size 12-volt lead-acid one to boot up the electronics at start and maintain ancillary functions.

Chevy Spark EV

At a base price of $27,495, or a $199-a-month lease, General Motors is surely losing money on every Spark EV it assembles in Korea for sale in California, Oregon, and Canada (also China and Korea). Chevy is hardly alone on that score, and there’s an EV price war of sorts as makers compete to fulfill the California ZEV mandate. That means that with federal and state tax breaks and no gasoline to buy, like other pure electrics, the Spark EV can be a heck of a deal for consumers who can live with the limited range.

Homing In on the Range

The EPA rates the Spark EV at 119 mpge in combined driving. Driving the Spark as we would any other fun small car in the city (i.e., no hypermiling games), we used 13.3 kWh of juice over 50-odd miles, and the data displayed on the vehicle’s seven-inch screen showed we had 29 miles of range remaining. A “confidence” meter in the driver information center said we might get as many as 34 more miles if we went gently into the night, or as few as 25 if we kept tap-dancing on the go pedal. It also told us we’d used 13 percent of the battery’s full capacity for the climate control, cooling the cabin to 74 degrees when it was in the high 80s outside. Three distinct heating-and-cooling systems manage the climate for the high-voltage electronics, battery, and cabin. Besides the high-voltage battery, there’s a marine-size 12-volt lead-acid one to boot up the electronics at start and maintain ancillary functions.

At a base price of $27,495, or a $199-a-month lease, General Motors is surely losing money on every Spark EV it assembles in Korea for sale in California, Oregon, and Canada (also China and Korea). Chevy is hardly alone on that score, and there’s an EV price war of sorts as makers compete to fulfill the California ZEV mandate. That means that with federal and state tax breaks and no gasoline to buy, like other pure electrics, the Spark EV can be a heck of a deal for consumers who can live with the limited range.

http://www.world360insteps.com/top-360/best-electric-car-2016/

 

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