While we still haven't learned how far it goes on a charge, Chevrolet offered the media a very close look at its upcoming 2014 Spark EV at an event the evening before the LA Auto Show rang its opening bell. Not only did we have a chance to look at the $32,500 ($25,000 after tax incentives) five-door urban mini car in its production-ready state, but the automaker brought a second Spark EV opened up like a sardine can so we could view its technical innards.

As we mentioned yesterday when the Spark EV was unveiled, the five-passenger pure-electric is fitted with a 20-plus kilowatt-hour battery pack driving the front wheels. Thanks to its 110 kW (130 horsepower) electric motor generating a whopping 400 pound-feet of torque, it scoots to 60 mph in less than eight seconds. Even better, Chevy is promising it will offer "among the best EV battery range in its segment" and the capability to accept SAE Combo DC Fast Charging (this means it is able to reach 80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes).

Check out our live photo gallery to get a closer look at its mechanical layout and the location of its 560-pound battery pack.
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Chevrolet Spark EV is Pure, Electric Fun
Competitively priced under $25,000 with tax incentives
  • Expected range among best in EV segment
  • Advanced, U.S.-built motor and drive unit deliver best-in-class acceleration
  • Two seven-inch, high-resolution LCD screens display key vehicle functions and infotainment
  • Initial markets include California, Oregon, Canada, South Korea and other global markets
  • Optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability enables Spark EV to charge to 80 percent in 20 minutes
LOS ANGELES – The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, introduced today ahead of the Los Angeles International Auto Show, packs smart performance and connectivity technologies into an affordable five-door urban mini car designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination. It will be priced under $25,000 with tax incentives.

With the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet accounts for more than 50 percent of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in the United States and Spark EV builds on Chevrolet's proven electric motor and battery development programs. When it goes on sale next summer, the Spark EV is expected to have among the best EV battery range in its segment and be the first electric vehicle to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability, enabling the Spark EV to reach 80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes.

"When you engineer a technology-filled, all-electric mini car that goes from zero-to-60 mph in less than eight seconds, customers won't miss the gas," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. "The Volt and now the Spark EV show that Chevrolet not only knows EVs better than anyone else, we also know how to help customers get the most out of their EV experience."

Inside the Spark EV, critical vehicle functions are clearly and intuitively displayed on one of the vehicle's two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch color LCD screens, including a confidence gauge that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions.

Spark EV also will keep urban drivers musically connected with Chevrolet's exclusive MyLink radio that comes standard and safely brings smartphone-based infotainment – including apps for BringGo full-function navigation, TuneIn global internet radio, Pandora and Stitcher – into the vehicle. Apple's Siri will ride shotgun, for customers with compatible (4S and newer) iPhones.

In addition to previously announced markets including California and South Korea, Spark EV will also go on sale in participating dealerships throughout Oregon, Canada and other global markets. Spark EV will be eligible for coveted high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in California.

The soul of Spark EV

Spark EV is powered by an advanced electric motor and battery system. It consists of a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor that together deliver 130 hp (110 kW) and 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque for instant acceleration; and a more than 20-kWh lithium ion battery is expected to provide among the best EV range performance in its segment.

The drive unit and motor will be assembled of U.S. and globally sourced parts at GM's White Marsh, Md., manufacturing facility, and the first time a U.S. automaker has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.

Spark EV's long-life battery is designed to be safe, durable and reliable, and is warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles. It consists of a 560-pound (254 kg) square lithium-ion battery pack with a volume of 133 liters, comprising 336 prismatic cells.

"The Spark EV battery has undergone more than 200,000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs," said Pamela Fletcher, Chevrolet executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles. "It is extremely durable and has undergone the same abuse tolerance testing as the Volt battery."

Leading the charge

Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes. A common on-board charging receptacle accommodates all three charging platforms – DC Fast Charge, AC 240V and AC 120V.

Using a dedicated 240V outlet, Spark EV recharges in less than seven hours. Owners can coordinate charging according to departure time or during off-peak electricity rates. They also can manage and monitor the vehicle remotely via computer at OnStar.com, or with a special Chevrolet Mobile App powered by OnStar Remote Link. The Spark EV comes with three years of standard OnStar service.

Energy-saving exterior; tech-filled interior

In developing the Spark EV, Chevrolet set out to help customers conserve as much total energy as possible to maximize battery range. One important way to achieve that is by improving the vehicle's aerodynamics. By evaluating every detail of the gasoline-powered Spark, designers and aerodynamic engineers added the equivalent of about 2.5 miles of real-world range.

Spark EV colors include Electric Blue, Black Granite, Summit White, Silver Ice and Titanium. Inside, designers sought to create a comfortable and spacious cockpit with noise-reduction features and a combination of bright accents in Electric Blue and chrome.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      The big difference between this and the Leaf is that GM have engineered a battery pack and cooling that is likely to carry on giving you decent range for the life of the car and Nissan haven't. Kudos GM.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        That's a very important point. I kinda feel bad for Nissan/ghosn but they did it to themselves. :/
      lordedardstark1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi what?
      Eta Carinae
      • 2 Years Ago
      Those headlights are so big
      lazybeans
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is maintaining an all electric car more complex than a petroleum car?
        dan1malk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lazybeans
        I'd imagine way less.
        Matthew Simmons
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lazybeans
        Way less because you have one moving part which is the electric motor. Electric motors are extremely reliable. If only they could get battery capacities larger, they might have something special.
      Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      Contrary to people's snide remarks about the "huge headlights" I like them. The fact that they wrap half-way back across the front fenders vastly increases the visibility of this car from the side, which is a good thing especially for a quiet EV.
      Steven Chang
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't care how cheap or how much range this thing has.. I wouldn't be caught dead in this ugly car. You can get great gas mileage in a decent looking car these days at 1/2 to 2/3's the price (depending on your tax break incentives). Ridiculous GM nonsense.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steven Chang
        But you can't beat the 'mileage' of electric. You never have to buy gas again, you can fill up at home, you get over a 100 miles per gallon on an equivalent basis, you spew no local pollution, you use 100% domestic fuel, you never have to worry about gas prices going up ever again, etc. And if you don't like this EV, you can get the Tesla Model S, the Ford Focus Electric, the Nissan Leaf, the Honda Fit EV, the Fiat 500e, the Toyota RAV4 electric, or the Mitsubishi-i. We are actually starting to get some decent choices for EVs.
        Charles Ellis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steven Chang
        It will probably smoke your crappy little fart canned Honda.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      60 mph in less than eight seconds. 80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes. 400 pound-feet of torque! THESE are the things that will eventually sway people to realize that EVs are the future and just not glorified golf carts. The only thing we really need to find out is the ultimate range of this vehicle.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
        Bradford
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        "80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes" doesn't mean anything if we don't know what the range is.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Bradford
          It depends on the battery chemistry. A123 has pretty good batteries for handling a fast charge. I assume that is one of the reasons why the Volt and the Spark EV have different batteries from different suppliers.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Bradford
          [blocked]
      ngiotta
      • 2 Years Ago
      It needs larger headlights.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ngiotta
        [blocked]
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ngiotta
        It's just trying to keep up with the Leaf. Seriously, though, when do we let headlights grow longer than the hood?
          spa2nky1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          Needs headlights that extend up the A pillar.
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am reading lots of posts saying the math doesn't work because you could buy the regular gas powered version for much less including the cost of gas to run it. But if we all bought cars based on fuel economy ROI then we would all be driving a Prius. I mean, why spend $50k on a BMW 3 Series and average mid-high 20mpg when you can spend half that on a Prius and get double the gas mileage? See. Dumb argument. Many people are willing to plunk down big coin for green vehicles simply because they are green. Just like people will pay big coin for a BMW because it's a Bimmer.
      Tom Bryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know anyone who would pay 25k for a microcar, electric or not.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      I fit in it and can afford it and want a city car EV but it just is so odd looking in so many ways. You'd wanna keep it in the garage, right? But who cares what they look like as they throw off the shackles of enslavement? Just get me free of the oil industry!
      4gasem
      • 2 Years Ago
      It needs bigger headlights. (insert sarcasm)
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