The current Spark EV uses a 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with bits made by A123 Systems (known as B456 Systems during bankruptcy). For the 2015 model, GM is going to build a 19-kWh battery system in-house that will use 192 LG Chem cells. Losing a bit of energy capacity means that the battery system for the 2015 Spark EV will be 86 pounds lighter but it will keep the EPA-rated 82-mile range and 119 MPGe. The 2015 Spark EV also keeps its $26,685 (plus destination) starting price from the 2014 model. The car will once again qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. LG Chem also supplies the cells for GM's other plug-in vehicles from its facility in Western Michigan. The Brownstown production line currently builds the battery packs for the Chevy Volt, the Opel Ampera and the Cadillac ELR.
You can read our first drive of the 2014 Chevy Spark here.
Will build battery system for 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV
DETROIT – General Motors will bring all its electric vehicle battery building capabilities in-house with production of battery systems for the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.
"Using our in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise enabled us to deliver a battery system that is more efficient and lighter than the 2014 Spark EV without sacrificing range," said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM global transmission and electrification engineering. "Our successful working relationship with LG Chem has allowed us to deliver a new battery system for the Spark EV that helps us to better leverage our economies of scale."
A newly designed battery system features an overall storage capacity of 19 kWh and uses 192 lithium ion cells. The cells are produced at LG Chem's plant in Holland, Mich. The battery system weight of 474 lbs. is 86 pounds lighter than the system in the 2014 Spark EV. The Spark EV battery is built on a dedicated production line at Brownstown, which also manufactures complete battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR.
Changes in battery design will not affect the Spark's MPGe, or gasoline equivalent, performance compared to the 2014 model. Range will remain at an EPA-rated 82 miles and MPGe will remain at 119.
Priced at $19,995 with full federal incentives, The Spark EV is one of the most efficient – and affordable – all-electric vehicles available. Currently on sale in California and Oregon, the 2015 Spark EV features segment-leading technology including Siri Eyes Free, 4G LTE and DC Fast Charging.
Brownstown Battery Assembly's 479,000-square-foot, landfill-free facility south of Detroit produces the lithium-ion battery packs for GM's extended-range electric vehicles. It started mass production in October 2010 and is the first high-volume manufacturing site in the U.S. operated by a major automaker for automotive lithium-ion battery production. The site was made possible with the help of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the U.S. Department of Energy.
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.