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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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Do the Math
By talikarni on 4/30/2013 3:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
Spark has a 21 kWh battery

Figure a 20 kWh charge...
Los Angeles area households paid an average of 23.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2013.

If you only drive to and from work at most 75 miles round trip:

18 kWh used per day = 540 kWh per month or 6500 per year.

This comes out to $4.18 per (realistic) single charge per day, an extra $125 per month on your power bill or at least an extra $1500 per year.

But if you look at it realistically needing 3 charges per day for shopping, socially, etc:
$12.54/day, $375/mo., $4500/yr

Now if you compare to a gasoline vehicle driven the same amount (around 75 miles per day, $4/gal CA prices):
15 mpg = 5 Gal used, $20/day
25 mpg = 3 Gal used, $12/day
35 mpg = 2.1 Gal, $8.40/day
50 mpg = 1.5Gal, $6/day

Even with the realistic shopping and social stops along the way, these Electric vehicles cost-wise are not really any better than a gas/diesel vehicle that can get 25-30 mpg. Add in the need for longer trips even within the same state and that 82 mile limit, even if stretched to 90 miles, means you spend more time charging than driving, versus at least with a gas/diesel vehicle, you can get at least 350-500 miles between fueling. Stopping for restroom breaks and such every 90 minutes, which would be charging time for the EV, means you can spend 3-5 minutes filling up/peeing and be on your way again....... versus waiting minimum 20-60 minutes for the EV to charge.
A single 300 mile trip averaging 60 mph you could easily do in 5 hours with a fueled vehicle. Yet with this EV and the need to charge, that 5 hours is stretched to at least 8 hours.

Sure, low range EVs (under 150 miles per charge) may make sense for people as a commute car within the vehicles range.... but add in all the normal every day additional driving such as shopping, groceries, taking and picking kids up from events, social events, and so on, the EVs are less appealing. But for only commuting, no kids, no life, then sure it makes sense.

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