General Motors is happy with the number of Chevrolet Spark electric vehicles it has sold so far. The US automaker's sales of the Spark EV are "way over" what GM originally targeted, Plug In Cars has learned, citing Chevrolet executive Dale Sullivan. Since GM's final tally for October Spark EV sales was 87, the year-to-date total for the little EV is 397.

Sullivan told Plug In Cars that sales are, "way over our expectation," and that, "Keeping a good quantity in stock is the biggest problem we have." Perhaps more important, the all-electric is serving its role as a 'hey-look-at-me!' vehicle just fine, "It is getting us our Millennial buyers that we really wanted in Chevrolet, and just like Volt, it gets us conquest buyers," Sullivan said.

Made in South Korea and sold only in California and Oregon, the Spark EV sells at a $26,685 base price before state and federal incentives kick in. The model has an electric motor that delivers 140 horsepower as well as a battery that provides an 82-mile single-charge range, about seven miles more than the Nissan Leaf. Meanwhile, Chevy is working on adding a quick-charge option that will add about $1,500 to the price. US sales began in June.

We will post overall US green car sales numbers for October later today, though Chevrolet has already reported that sales of its extended-range plug-in Volt were down 32 percent from a year earlier to 2,022. While you're waiting, you can read Autoblog's "First Drive" impressions of the Spark EV here.


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  • 65 Comments
      CoolWaters
      • 6 Months Ago
      Yes, I was going to say I didn't know it's on sale. Because it isn't in 48 states.
      • 6 Months Ago
      It looks like a Prius and a Scion put together.
      Marcopolo
      • 6 Months Ago
      @ RoyEMunson Absolutely correct, I own a Volt, and we have 13 in our corporate fleet, some with over 20,000 miles. none have developed any bearing whine and have a better maintenance record than the BMW vehicles they replaced. A quick email check of GM, major GM dealers world-wide, and Fleet advisor's reveals the " great bearing" problem to be just another anti-volt myth.
      lad
      • 6 Months Ago
      It is interesting to read the comments, especially when you realize it's in GM's best interest at this time not to sell EVs because they simply make money off ICE cars. They only build Sparks as compliance cars and those are build outside the U.S. GM will get serious about manufacturing EVs when they know they can turn a profit on each car. That will be when batteries are less costly, weight less and offer better range performance. Until then I believe they will be satisfied to watch Nissan, Tesla and now BMW take the chances while they count beans. By the way, have you noticed that Ford and Chrysler are stalling also? Ford's EVs are retrofits and Fiat/Chrysler has Bosch supplied drive trains. I believe the auto companies have lots of EV know how under lock and perhaps even a production ready design or two waiting for the market forces to dictate directions.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @lad
        It's in GM's best interest to sell EVs because they make money selling cars. If you want a car that runs on dog urine, it's in their best interest to sell you that.
        SteveG
        • 6 Months Ago
        @lad
        That is exactly what got them into the bailout last time. It is also why Toyota is now the biggest car maker. Resting on your laurels never got anyone ahead.
          CarNutMike
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SteveG
          Funny you should cite Toyota, who has been resting on their hybrid laurels while everyone else is working EVs. Innovators dilemma and all that.
      hodad66
      • 6 Months Ago
      they should open it up nationally!
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @hodad66
        It'll likely never be available outside of CARB areas except as a fleet vehicle (i.e. sold to electric utilities like the S-10 Blazer EV was). Hopefully this level of success will spur GM to make an EV that isn't a compliance car though.
        Grendal
        • 6 Months Ago
        @hodad66
        That's not going to happen. GM is not making this car to be a money maker. It is a compliance car that they are having made so they can get the ZEV credits they need. GM does not want to be fined by California. The Volt is their real mass produced EV/EREV. The Spark EV was just an unexpected success. An additional demand for 100 or 200 more won't translate to mass production in GM's mind. We can hope for more from them though.
          jeff
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal, That is sad but true... GM is so short sighted....
          Brett Kling
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I'd totally buy one! I hear they are sweet! I already own a Leaf on lease but would look to buy one of these!
      dal
      • 6 Months Ago
      Is it me or do they design these EV's to look so small and goofy no one wants to be seen in one. It would not take a rocket scientist to draw up "something" that has more curb appeal. Now the Volt does have good looks but I am not Bill Gates and I try not to buy cars you basically have take out a morgage to finance.
        Ele Truk
        • 6 Months Ago
        @dal
        This is a compliance car, based on an existing gas powered car. It looks goofy on it's own, regardless of the EV offering.
      comment814
      • 6 Months Ago
      what on earth are you talking about? only 6,500 miles a year!!!! you barely drive it, wonder why you even bought it
      Rotation
      • 6 Months Ago
      That's great news. I hope this encourages GM to make some more EVs. And get that DCFC version out! I wonder if they are regretting shipping the drivetrains over to Korea to be installed instead of finishing the car here. Or maybe getting shipping space to Korea is so easy they don't mind.
        thatitaliankid321
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        i doubt it. its good for GM's image touting that they built a new plant in Baltimore to EXPORT manufactured components to Korea. instead of importing them. Also if this car will make in as a good seller in CA, then i can either see more states getting them once they move production closer to the USA
      BipDBo
      • 6 Months Ago
      If they didn't want to sell any of these, they should not have made it so good. Usually GM has the exact opposite problem. Surprisingly, though, GM has actually had this problem once before: the EV1.
        Grendal
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        They probably only needed to sell 400 to get the ZEV credits they needed so they didn't have to buy them from Tesla. Hopefully it doesn't mean they become complacent and not see what this means. More EVs GM. People want them.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Even leased far below break even the EV1 had problems finding customers.
          CarNutMike
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          @joeviocoe: If the intent was really to build 'em until the mandate went away, why bother engineering an entirely new platform? For fun? Everyone else did conversions, a much cheaper solution. To ascribe a single position to "GM" is to not understand the realities of a massive corporation. There was obviously a faction at GM who really believed people would take to the cars struggling against a counter group who expected it to crater.
          JakeY
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          @CarNutMike "There was obviously a faction at GM who really believed people would take to the cars struggling against a counter group who expected it to crater." The classic bean counters vs. the engineers. I think Smith (the CEO that announced the Impact) had enthusiasm about the project (and so did engineers and sales people) but when the recession hit obviously programs like the EV1 were thrown on the back burner.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          What was the Lease price? The EV-1's costs were too high because GM refused to consider cost saving production processes. They were counting on hand-building EV-1s until they could kill the ZEV mandate in court. Which is exactly what they did.
          noelmwood
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          I did not hear that they had problems finding customers. I did know, however, that the entire project was not profitable, and essentially a compliance car. They lost a lot of money on the whole project. The price that they would have needed to sell or lease it for to actually break even was far far too high to be marketable.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Fact of the matter is GM did not engineer the EV1. Gm paid Aerovironment to engineer and build the EV1. In the late 80s, GM through it's largess had the EV1 built as a by Aerovironment. Fortunately the CARB people saw it sitting somewhere and the mandate was on.
          Rotation
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          It didn't matter if GM went to court to kill the mandate or not. The mandate was not going to survive. It was not technologically feasible to force a significant percentage of cars (I think the mandate was 3%) to be EVs at that time. Gas was $1 a gallon! The lease costs were $300-$500/month. For a two seater, with miserable range and no place you could refill it. The intersection of customers who have garages, have a use for a small two seater and wouldn't mind installing thousands of dollars in charger in their garage is quite small. Just look at the Tesla Roadster for an example. And that's all before you talk about 1 in 30 of the cars suffering from "thermal events". Think about it, Tesla has moved about 20,000 cars right now, what if 800 of them suffered pack fires (of varying sizes) over the first two years in the field?
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        GM is notorious for not understanding the demand. They have long been a reactionary company, rather than proactive. If it weren't for Tesla showing that it can be done... and Lutz having some foresight.. I don't think the Volt would have made it out of the concept phase, and certainly not out of CA,MI only sales.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        They didn't say they didn't want to sell any. They said they didn't expect to sell any.
      EZEE
      • 6 Months Ago
      At GM headquarters....: What, people effing bought one?
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 6 Months Ago
      Volt sales are down based on the Bearing issues they've been having in the drive-train. Customers are getting tired of leaving their volts at the dealer for 3-4 weeks only to do it again a year or two later.
        danwat1234
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        I have only heard of a few threads on the Internet about bearing issues and I thought it was only on 2011 Volts. There are some issues with the cabin heater on newer Volts. But nothing compared to the Ford Fusion/C-max recalls!
        RoyEMunson
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        What on earth are you talking about? Zero problems with my Volt after 1.5 years and 13k miles.
      m_2012
      • 6 Months Ago
      The bearing whine issue. Not unheard of. You are at the perfect mileage for it.
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