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Spark EV can go 82 miles on full charge

Back in November of last year, Chevrolet started talking up its new Spark electric vehicle. One of the more interesting things that Chevrolet offered up about the small electric vehicle was that it would have impressive performance, being able to reach 60 mph in under 8 seconds.
 
Chevrolet also announced the retail pricing for the vehicle at $32,495 before the $7500 federal tax credit. After that tax credit is applied, the new Spark EV would sell for under $25,000.
 
Chevrolet has offered up some additional information about the Spark this week. The EPA estimated electric driving range for the Spark is 82 miles on full charge. The EPA gives the vehicle a combined city/highway fuel economy equivalent of 119MPGe.

Chevrolet says that the Sparky EV could save owners as much as $9,000 in fuel costs over five years.

“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 Spark uses a 21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that carries an eight-year or 100,000 mile warranty. The Spark will also be the first vehicle to have an option for the SAE combo charger for DC Fast Charging. This charging capability will be available shortly after launch and will allow the Spark EV to recharge to up to 80% of its total capacity in only 20 min. Chevrolet says the vehicle could handle multiple DC Fast Charges each day. Standard charging takes under seven hours using a dedicated 240 V charger. The vehicle comes standard with a 120 V charge cord.
 
The vehicle is set to go on sale this summer in California and Oregon before a broader rollout at a later date.

Source: GM



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By 91TTZ on 4/25/2013 11:21:32 AM , Rating: 2
Why do automakers insist on making these horrible looking small cars? On paper, the specs often seem attractive and the cars often seems practical. But then I see them and I'm instantly repulsed. They look really awkward. So bad, in fact, that I wouldn't even consider buying one.




By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 11:28:22 AM , Rating: 4
because they are making small city cars where space is limited, parking sucks, and it's mostly likely to be used by only one person. Being on the economy range also won't help its aesthetics. There are plenty of people who finds these cars attractive, you're not one of them. You're just no used to them. Go to Europe and see for yourself how ugly they can really get.

If you want to get a good looking EV then buy a Model S


By Mint on 4/25/2013 8:19:13 PM , Rating: 3
The Zoe looks amazing, and is basically Renault's take on the Leaf platform that they worked together on with their alliance.

They're also pricing it in a much better way: Sell the car at a low price, but ask for monthly payments to lease the battery, sort of like a gas substitute.


By Souka on 4/26/2013 2:06:42 PM , Rating: 1
Meh.

I get about 50mpg in my 2004 prius.

it's a 4 door... much bigger car, and I can drive 600 miles on a tank... and fillup in just a few minutes at any gas station on my drive.

Spark? oohhh... 70 miles (rated, not actual) and I gotta charge...nice.

Lets' not forget the 25k price up front. I paid 7k for my prius...I'm already 18k ahead :)

If you only drive short distances your savings with an electric are reduced because of the reduced mileage.

I put about 13k miles/year on my car... doing that with a Spark would be soo painful because of the constant need to charge.


By Mint on 4/26/2013 3:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not defending the Spark EV. It's overpriced and undersized.

In the UK, a Renault ZOE sells for £14k and you pay £93/mo to lease the battery for 12k miles/yr. A Prius would cost you £22k and £100/mo in gas to go the same distance.

(1000 miles/mo / 50MPG = 20 US gallons = 76L, avg gas cost of £1.35/L)

Your comparison of a used car price with a new one is just stupid.


By Mint on 4/26/2013 3:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to include electricity cost in there, but even if total running costs are £30/mo higher for the ZOE, you're not going to make up £8k difference for over 15 years.


By Dr of crap on 4/25/2013 12:44:25 PM , Rating: 1
Yes agreed.

WHY not make it MORE aerodynamic, lower to the ground, almost sports car like.
Oh wait, with most of the US FAT, no one could get into it that's why.

But still lower those damn cars, Fit, Aero, Spark, ect - why are they ALL tall and skinny, make them sort and WIDE!


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 1:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But still lower those damn cars, Fit, Aero, Spark, ect - why are they ALL tall and skinny, make them sort and WIDE!
It's to fool people into thinking there's more room in them than there actually is. And BTW, I actually like the Sparks looks and with a 84 mile range, it would be just barely enough to suit my current needs. And on top of that, it's not dog slow either.


By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 2:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
it's not to fool anyone. Go measure it.


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
it's not to fool anyone. Go measure it.
Don't need to measure anything. A taller car WILL give one the impression of more room. But unless you're tall, the extra height is unused and irrelevant.


By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 2:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
I mean these vehicles are not tall. They are short and smaller in overall dimensions. The ground clearance remains the same. They seem taller in that respect.

Why don't they change it? lots of reasons but i can sum it up to "the physical world didn't change size because your car is smaller"


By 91TTZ on 4/25/2013 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 1
They are tall. They're marketed as being "tiny" cars but when you park an older car next to them you realize just how big they are. They're much larger than the small cars of the past.

This Spark is 61 inches tall.

For reference:

My 300ZX is 49.6 inches tall.
A Dodge Neon is 55 inches tall
A Toyota Corolla is 54 inches tall
A Dodge Caravan was 64 inches tall.

This thing's height is closer to a Dodge Caravan than a Dodge Neon.


By sigmatau on 4/25/2013 8:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
None of the cars you listed are anywhere near this car's class. Even the Neon and Corolla are a step or two above it.

I agree with the previous poster, they make these so ugly: small yet tall which makes them look ridiculous. I was behind a smarttwo or whatever it is called and couldn't see over it. It was about as tall as the crossover in front of it. It's like they took the middle of a crossover and cut off the trunk and hood area.


By FITCamaro on 4/26/2013 8:57:49 AM , Rating: 3
That's kind of his point. A car in the sub (heck, micro) compact class is far taller than cars in the sub-compact class and even midsize class. And it's not far off from a vehicle that is a minivan.

But this has everything to do with crash standards. Nothing more. Bumper heights have been raised. Forcing automakers to adjust the design of their cars to meet new safety standards so the car will sell.


By FITCamaro on 4/26/2013 8:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
And I think it's utterly insane that we now have vehicles with wheel wells large enough to fit 30" rims INSIDE the wheel well.

Makes me want to throw up when I see it.


By AssBall on 4/26/2013 4:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah i'd much rather see a cadillac with 13" bronzed chromies on it...not.

The physics of larger tire size:
Better braking
Better mileage
Better ride
Better wear

You might lose some handling and pay a bit more, but to be realistic the 405 is not Leguna Seca.


By sigmatau on 4/26/2013 8:11:13 PM , Rating: 3
I don't believe you lose handling. You gain handling. Maybe the ride quality diminishes, but in terms of grip on the road, it is enhanced.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 10:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
None of the cars you listed are anywhere near this car's class. Even the Neon and Corolla are a step or two above it. I agree with the previous poster, they make these so ugly: small yet tall which makes them look ridiculous.


I am the previous poster. The other cars I listed are supposedly "larger", yet they're shorter.


By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 7:50:40 AM , Rating: 3
why are you comparing new cars with old cars? I can easily say all new cars are generally much bigger than its predecessors. Nice way to try and win an argument.

EVs are also a bit taller due to the fact that they have a huge battery underneath. But in general, cars are just much taller and bigger these days. The change started with bumper safety regs.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 11:10:06 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
why are you comparing new cars with old cars?


I'm comparing it to older cars primarily because companies claim that they're returning to fuel efficient "small" cars instead of the gas-guzzling big SUVs and boats we used to drive before. I'm showing you that these new "small" cars aren't actually small at all. The problem is that over time, automakers moved their compact cars upmarket to get more profits, resulting in those compacts becoming mid-sized cars. They then replaced those spots in their lineups with new compacts which are really tall and bubbly.

But let's compare the non-EV Spark with other new cars:

2013 Spark: 61 inches tall.
2013 Cruze: 58 inches
2013 Civic: 56 inches
2013 Corolla: 58 inches
2013 Scion Tc: 56 inches
2013 Accord: 57 inches
2011 Crown Victoria: 57 inches
2013 Cadillac CTS: 58 inches

As you can see, the Spark is STILL a tall car. Not only is it taller than compacts, it's taller than full size cars including giant boats like the Ford Crown Victoria and Cadillac CTS. The Spark doesn't just look tall because it's short, it IS tall.

quote:
Nice way to try and win an argument.

Arguing against reality. Nice way to try to lose an argument.


By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 12:39:51 PM , Rating: 3
How many times do i have to say this. EVs have their batteries underneath the seat/floorboard. That's a few hundred pounds of batteries. It has to go there.

Given that the clearance has to be the same as any other passenger cars, do you see why it has to be a few inches taller?
The headroom clearance and seat has to remain the same also.

Same cabin height + same ground clearance + added battery space = slightly taller vehicle. It looks like it's only taller by a few inches so what's the big deal?

It is not a marketing trick, it is by design constraints.

When you make full size cars, you give it more leg rooms and trunk space so it is. The extra size is mostly horizontal rather than vertical. The BMW 3 series is virtually the same height as the BMW 7 series. The main difference being interior space extended horizontally.

Comparing height when it's within a few inches of each other is irrelevant when the length of the cars you listed have a significant delta.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 3:11:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
How many times do i have to say this. EVs have their batteries underneath the seat/floorboard. That's a few hundred pounds of batteries. It has to go there.


You keep saying it because you have really poor reading comprehension. I've already pointed out the flaws in your reasoning but you can't see it. So now I have to be more blunt and direct, which comes off as rude.

1. This car is a continuation of a line of cars that have always been pretty tall. They've been tall long before an electric version was even offered.

2. This car's current model didn't offer an electric version until 2013. It's been gas or diesel up until now, yet the car was still the same height. The height did not change in the electric version.

3. GM obviously knows how to make a lower profile electric car because their EV1 was only 51 inches tall (a full 10 inches shorter than this beast)

Since I've established that 1) this line of cars has always been tall and 2) the current model was tall before an electric version was offered and 3) other GM electric cars were shorter, I can confidently say that you're wrong about the tall height being due to it being electric.


By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 2:17:41 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
WHY not make it MORE aerodynamic, lower to the ground, almost sports car like. Oh wait, with most of the US FAT, no one could get into it that's why.

They are very aerodynamic in terms of coefficient of drag. They are not tuned aerodynamically for stability because it won't be driven fast like a sports car. If you look up high speed sports cars, it actually has much higher coefficient than a prius.

quote:
But still lower those damn cars, Fit, Aero, Spark, ect - why are they ALL tall and skinny, make them sort and WIDE!

These smart cars are low to the ground. They don't look like it because they are very short and small overall. Your perception makes it look higher off the ground than it actually is.

They cannot make them wider on that short of a wheel base because it will be unstable and cause more drag.


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 2:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They cannot make them wider on that short of a wheel base because it will be unstable and cause more drag.
Yes they can and have and lower CG does NOT make a car more unstable. It does the opposite. These cars are tall to give the impression of roominess, that's all.

Wheelbase comparison
Chevy Spark: 93.1 inches
Pontiac Solstice: 95.1 inches

Track comparison
Chevy Spark: 55.5/55.7 inches
Pontiac Solstice: 60.1/60.7 inches

Overall width comparison
Chevy Spark: 62.9 inches
Pontiac Solstice: 71.3 inches


By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 3:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
I never said lowering drag will increase unstability. Making a car look good and stable requires wind tunnel to shape the body for down force and also how it flows on the sides and underneath. Normally, it adds a bit more drag for obvious reasons. These little cars are meant for efficiency so they just go for the lowest drag while meeting safety regs. If you don't believe me then drive one of these things at 80 mph. I have, it's scary as $%#@ and every gust of wind feels like it's going to blow you away.

And what is your point with these dimentions? It says that the Spark is a smaller car.

What those dimensions doesn't tell you is that the solstice actually have much more overhangs past the wheel base. A solstice is a much longer car overall, not just the wheel base.

Next time, at least try to be more convincing.


By Solandri on 4/25/2013 5:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's worth pointing out that lower drag coefficient doesn't automatically mean lower drag. To calculate actual drag, you multiply the drag coefficient by the surface area of the profile the car presents to the wind, times a few constants.

So if it's taller, that's going to increase the profile's surface area and increase the drag. Maybe even enough so there's higher drag despite the Cd being lower. (Likewise, a narrower body will reduce drag.)


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 6:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's worth pointing out that lower drag coefficient doesn't automatically mean lower drag. To calculate actual drag, you multiply the drag coefficient by the surface area of the profile the car presents to the wind, times a few constants.
X2 yep


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 5:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never said lowering drag will increase unstability.
Don't you read what you write? You said making a short wheelbase car, wider would make it unstable. It does not. I referenced my own car as an example of a car that's wide and has a short wheelbase. Those two combinations happen quite a bit on sports cars which are very stable compared to typical cars. Your statement was overgeneralized.


By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 8:08:18 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you know what you wrote so I'll quote it for you.

quote:
Yes they can and have and lower CG does NOT make a car more unstable. It does the opposite. These cars are tall to give the impression of roominess, that's all. Wheelbase comparison Chevy Spark: 93.1 inches Pontiac Solstice: 95.1 inches Track comparison Chevy Spark: 55.5/55.7 inches Pontiac Solstice: 60.1/60.7 inches Overall width comparison Chevy Spark: 62.9 inches Pontiac Solstice: 71.3 inches


When tuning in a wind tunnel. You can go for stability or efficiency or most likely a combination of both. The priority for this car is efficiency because that's the whole point of the car. If you don't tune for stability then any big gust of wind will make the vehicle unstable at high speed.

Yes wheel base does matter for stability at high speed. Have you ever try driving a car that has a nearly squared wheel base? You will spin out very quickly. The only good thing is that you will have a very small turning radius.

And again all passenger cars meant for daily driving have pretty much the same ground clearance. The interior also need to have a certain amount of space for headroom clearance. The overall dimensions are smaller. So yes, a shorter car overall will look taller because they are shorter.
And please don't start listing sports cars and supercars will low ground clearance. It is clearly not meant for buying groceries and driving through pothole littered roads.


By Omega215D on 4/26/2013 2:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
Larger diameter wheels would be better though, they should at least do that.


By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 7:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
larger diameter wheels create more rolling resistance. All these hybrids/EVs normally have skinny wheels for efficiency.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 2:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wider tires create more rolling resistance, but larger diameter tires do not.


By boeush on 4/25/2013 8:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But still lower those damn cars, Fit, Aero, Spark, ect - why are they ALL tall and skinny, make them sort and WIDE!
You must live in a place where the land and roads are flat as a pancake. Where I live, there are hills and drainage ditches -- and yeah, even speed bumps and pot holes. And with that in effect, I absolutely hate low-to-ground cars, with a passion. They do nothing but scrape and scratch on the pavement all over the place, even when pulling in/out of inclined driveways onto the street at 3 mph. They're also a pain to park because you're constantly afraid of slamming your bumper into the curb or the concrete limiter at the end of your parking space.

Oh, and wide cars? Much more of a pain to park and get in/out of on packed parking lots and compact parking spaces. Much more of a pain to maneuver in tight quarters. At least, these factors are important when you don't live out in the middle of nowhere...


By sigmatau on 4/25/2013 8:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's one thing to have a low clearance sport car and another to have a chopped off SUV-freak that has 6.7 inches of ground clearance. Now that is insane! I remember owning a 98 Honda Accord that had just under 4 inches of ground clearance, which was higher than most competitors, and I thought it made the car look a little odd. I think they have gotten worse since then. But, come on, 6.7 inches of clearance for a small turd? That is small SUV territory.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 11:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where I live, there are hills and drainage ditches -- and yeah, even speed bumps and pot holes. And with that in effect, I absolutely hate low-to-ground cars, with a passion.


Nobody is proposing that these cars be low to the ground like a Lamborghini. A reasonable ride height like a Corolla, Civic, or Cruze works just fine in the city. I see cars like that all the time in Philly.

I don't think you realize just how tall cars like the Spark are. They're much taller than your average car. It's not an illusion, it's actually taller than Civics, Accords, big-ass Buicks and Cadillacs. It's near crossover/minivan territory.


By Manch on 4/25/2013 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
CAFE. Selling these helps their avg.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2013 5:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why do automakers insist on making these horrible looking small cars?


The answer is simple: They're being forced to by the Government!

Vehicle engineering is far more complex than the average person comprehends. Everything is a compromise, because ultimately in the end, you are limited by physics in what you can do with a given automotive design.

It's a very long and complicated process, but basically for whatever reason, when you set out to have the ultimate design goal of maximum fuel economy; you end up with a gay looking bubble car.

Look, I don't know why, but that's just the way it is apparently. /shrug


By Spuke on 4/25/2013 5:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Some is marketing though. Because of the Prius, people now associate goofy looking cars with fuel efficiency (which was Toyota's whole point in the design of the 2nd gen Prius). I did say it looked ok before but that was before I knew it was 61 inches tall. It looked tall but I didn't realize it was THAT tall.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 11:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Vehicle engineering is far more complex than the average person comprehends. Everything is a compromise, because ultimately in the end, you are limited by physics in what you can do with a given automotive design.


But the thing is that automakers are able to make larger cars than the Spark that still are much shorter than the Spark.

For instance, GM's Cadillac CTS is 57 inches tall but the Spark is 61 inches tall. There's definitely no technical reason why the Spark needs to be that tall. It's taller than a Ford Crown Victoria.

I don't expect it to be low like a sports car, but it can be made much shorter than it is. A Chevy Cobalt is 56 inches tall. A Cruze is 58 inches tall. You get the point.

I agree with Spuke that it's due to marketing and the fact that people now associate goofy looking cars with fuel efficiency.


By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 1:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Most cars are roughly the same height. The exceptions are SUV/trucks, sports cars, etc...

This car is slightly higher than the average car due to the sheet of battery underneath and heat sink. That is all

The size of the car is usually determined by it's horizontal length, not its height. In fact, there's more delta between width of cars than height.

Why didn't they shrink the height with the rest of the car? because you didn't shrink and neither did the rest of the world.

Your argument is weak and annoying. Quit it.


By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 3:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This car is slightly higher than the average car due to the sheet of battery underneath and heat sink. That is all


You are entirely and absolutely wrong. 100% wrong.

As I have CLEARLY pointed out a few times to you, this car's electric version just came out now in 2013 and yet the gas version was the same height. Also, the previous model of the car (which had no electric version at all) was still a tall beast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chevrolet_Matiz_...

You are obviously out of your league arguing with me. You lack the automotive knowledge to participate in this debate, but you also lack the awareness to know you're outclassed. It's like a lap dog attacking a pit bull and then getting torn to shreds. Spectators want to look away but it's too entertaining not to watch.

quote:
Your argument is weak and annoying. Quit it.


You're just dumb. I don't know any other way to say it. You keep posting incorrect information thinking that you have a point, yet you don't. You really should stop posting in car threads but you lack the judgment to do even that.


By zodiacfml on 4/25/2013 11:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
because it is sold in other parts of the world.


By thurston2 on 4/26/2013 6:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you're just seeing your reflection in the monitor.


By jjmcubed on 4/28/2013 1:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
They look horrible because each brand has to have their "brand identity" applied to each example. Chevy brand identity is horrible, and I'm a Chevy guy.


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