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Chevrolet Spark pricing gets official

Chevrolet has offered up the official pricing on its Spark EV -- the little vehicle will carry an MSRP of $27,495. Even though the outright purchase price for the Spark is $27,495, people who qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit will be able to get that purchase price down to $19,995.
 
People interested in the Spark EV that live in certain areas of California could also qualify for up to an additional $2,500 off purchase price.
 
Chevrolet is also offering a very attractive lease option for the small electric vehicle that most people will probably choose. The lease option is for 36 months at $199 per month. That lease price puts the monthly out-of-pocket cost for the Spark on par with the Nissan Leaf and the Fiat 500e. The Spark lease does require a $999 down payment, which doesn't include tax, title, registration and other dealer fees.

The EPA estimates that the driving range for the vehicle on a full charge will be 82 miles. The vehicle also uses a SAE combo charger able to recharge the battery to 80% in only 20 min.

A regular, gasoline-engined Spark has an MSRP of $12,185 and get EPA estimated 32/38 mpg (city/highway).

"The Chevrolet Spark EV is the most efficient – and now one of the most affordable - EVs you can buy" said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. "Combined with outstanding infotainment and great design, the fun-to-drive Spark EV is engineered to impress."
 
The Spark EV will be offered through select Chevrolet dealers in California and Oregon beginning in June of 2013.

Source: Autoblog Green



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Thoughts
By SuperFly03 on 5/24/2013 7:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
As many have noted this car does not make a whole lot of sense. I think EV has a place in the market long term but will not supplant IC cars fully.

With that said, 82 miles per charge puts this squarely in a city only vehicle with no room to grow and no deviations from your normal commute to work, largely. The majority of Americans do not live that close to work (for those that drive) which limits your marketable base. Inner city living ( San Fransico, NYC, etc) are viable but many who live there do not own cars. Once you get into suburbia you get into travel days of 50-60 miles, and to me, I wouldnt want to have to worry about range if I wanted to hit a friend up at a bar across town or pick up my GF. Thats really the dfinition of range anxiety that hangs over you with this type range.

Further, I find a Mustang more practicle than a Spark because I can get a 50" TV in there easily for cargo or 4 people but I would love to see someone fit such an object in a Spark. Based on rough math from the spec sheet, it won't go. If anyone questions the Mustang... I did it in mine when I moved from my apt to my house.

To counter another point, the tax credit can be used to reduce your loan interest. If your wages have taxes withheld consister with your IRS tables, then, assuming you dont have any taxable income that hasnt been withheld, your year end federal refund would be quite large. Take the refund and apply it to your loan balance and reduce the principal. Recompute your necessary monthly payment and rock on.

End of the day, on the low end of the market hybrids make more sense than EV at this point. On the high end, EV (read Tesla) make more sense than hybrids.

Volts (read gas engine rnge extended EV) are jacked up uses of cash at their price points. One can cross shop more practical options with lower TCO or nicer ones with the same TCO. TCO is a complex calc that most do not fully vet. They instead look at their gas bill only not the full economic cost.




RE: Thoughts
By foxalopex on 5/24/2013 11:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
TCO is NOT the only reason to own one of these cars. When I originally was trying to buy a car I actually had a choice between another corolla, a prius or a volt. I ended up with the Volt.

There is a novelty to driving an EV that is unlike any gas car. They're quiet, have a tremendous amount of low end torque and respond to the throttle instantly. They also don't flood your garage or car heating system with gas fumes when you start it in the mornings. They're very quiet even when completely floored so you can easily pass folks without a second thought. Think about it, when your car roars like a lion everyone stares at you, you're wasting a huge amount of gas and some folks will purposely get in your way out of amusement. Instead a volt will go by silently.

Brake regeneration is awesome too as I've gone down some massive hills and literally regained miles of distance. This is why it is so nice to drive with an EV.

The problem of course is not enough battery range which the Volt resolves by resorting to gas. I recently completed a 3000 mile cross Canada road trip which no pure EV could pull off. The Volt's other curious trait is that it's a great car for passing people going uphill on the highway. The gas and electric work in tandem meaning that nearly everyone else will be unable to catch your electrical boost unless they really want to strain the life out of their gas engine.

After owning the volt for 1/2 year, I've really come to like it. You can drive the car with a lead foot and unlike most regular ICE cars which tend to suffer a lot in fuel efficiency, the Volt for the most part is still fairly efficient.


RE: Thoughts
By SuperFly03 on 5/24/2013 12:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
I would only own an EV or Hybrid if it was a lower TCO relative to the comparable ICE car. If it was not then I see it as spending more and getting less relative to where these cars are targeted (lower end of the car market). Running up a 28k price tag vs a 12k pricetag and getting little for the extra cost. So, to me, the value proposition is not there. Youre paying for a novelty at that point.

Also, I will give you a heads up, I roll a GT500 with straight pipes so gas fumes and exhaust noise are not the top of my concerns.

You are correct about the low end torque but a good chuck of that delta is eaten up if you roll a twin turbo engine. So, reduce the displacement and add turbos and you net about the same performance.

As to the Volts passing ability, the combined power output is never put to the wheels. The gas motor powers the electroc motor and "recharges" it. This is different from the Prius where the gas engine takes over for the electric motor. The range anxiety is a huge problem on the low end car spectrum, no question. Nothing works just right.

When it is all said and done, if I wanted so ething efficient I would go buy a Civic for 14-15k and pocket the 25k saved over the Volt and have the same range and features at a much lower cost or some ecoboost from Ford so I get the low end torque.


RE: Thoughts
By Mint on 5/24/2013 2:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Running up a 28k price tag vs a 12k pricetag and getting little for the extra cost.
For the consumer, it's $20k, not $28k.

"little extra" my ass:
-save $1200 per yr in fuel costs on average
-0-60 in under 8 seconds, vs 11 seconds with gas
-instant torque
-better handling from low center of gravity
-silent powertrain
-better standard features


RE: Thoughts
By SuperFly03 on 5/24/2013 3:10:41 PM , Rating: 1
You assume they use the 7500 to payback their loan, if they do not then how can say they did not spend 28k? While I do not disagree, the target market of this is not likely the most sophisticated people who will view the refund as an excuse to buy something else. But I did previously note the 20k tag, it is 28k off the lot with 7500 coming back the following April.

Who cares about 1200/yr in fuel cost? That is a 6.7 year payback period ignoring the likely, although admittedly estimated, higher insurance costs. I am not sure about R&M (eg battery pack life/replacement cost). All in all, you have to drive this thing a long ass time just to break even after Uncle Sam hands you approx 15% of the purchase price.

Silent power train is no bonus really in my book. Wind noise isusually louder than powertrains in cars. No reAl win there.

Where are the better standard features? I would bet there is nothing new in the EV that isnt in the gas car.

Torque I give you.

When you hit 28k before tt&l (I say 28k only because tax is based on 28k not 20k), you are squarely in a different segment than 12k. 20k goes up againt Accord, Fusion, Altima, etc. Alot more car than a over grown hot wheel that is more useful every day and still very fuel efficient. I would cross shop a crap load of cars at 20k but at 12k there is very very little to cross shop.


RE: Thoughts
By Mint on 5/24/2013 4:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While I do not disagree, the target market of this is not likely the most sophisticated people who will view the refund as an excuse to buy something else.
You're really reaching, aren't you...
quote:
Who cares about 1200/yr in fuel cost?
WTF? Did you just say that?

First of all, it's $14k for the 1LT auto model, which still isn't as well equipped as the EV. The vast majority of cars sold today are autos, whether you like it or not.

Run some car loan figures for $20k and $14k:
https://www.google.com/search?q=auto+loan+calculat...

Then tell me with a straight face that $130/mo of gas doesn't matter.
quote:
That is a 6.7 year payback period
No it's not, because your comparing it against a poorly equipped car.

It's a 5 year payback, and even less if you include maintenance. EVs need no oil changes and have minimal brake wear due to regenerative braking.

Then, after the 5 years, the EV is worth more as well, because it keeps saving the owner money.


RE: Thoughts
By SuperFly03 on 5/24/2013 4:38:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You're really reaching, aren't you...


Unfortunately, not really but a debatable point.

quote:
WTF? Did you just say that?


Yes, I did. When you compare the premium over the base, exclusive of the options they force you to buy, the cost of fuel is not significant.

If you compare the monthly payments you are ignoring the total cost and comparing on a monthly basis not a total out of pocket number which should be economic reality. Unfortunately, many in this segment take the short term approach.

As to your point about 5 yr return, you are again missing the big picture. If you break even after 5 yrs and save approximately 6k over the next five (assume the increase in insurance offsets oil changes which are cheap as crap) then ou will have made 6k on yournpurchase over 10 years. Then annualize that against the purchase price of 20k (I will give you net). That gives you a 3% return per year on your investment. Hate to tell you but that barely cracks the inflation barrier which makes the entire model total crap. Which is my whole point. The economics are not there, yet.

Now, that analysis assumes zero cost for a battery replacement within 10yrs which is conservative but reasonable based on the warranty.


RE: Thoughts
By Mint on 5/25/2013 6:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you compare the monthly payments you are ignoring the total cost
No, when you look at up front cost only YOU are ignoring total cost.

If you're a short term kind of guy, then you lease, and you save with the EV from the very beginning.
quote:
Then annualize that against the purchase price of 20k (I will give you net). That gives you a 3% return per year on your investment.

Your math sucks. The gas car isn't free, genius.

If you had $20k and decided not to get the EV, you can buy a $14k gas car and invest only $6k . Do you know how difficult it is to make $6k worth more than $100/mo after 10 years? You need over 20% ROI.

Even 10% is dreaming nowadays. $100/mo @ 10% nets you $20k in 10 years. $6k fixed @ 10% nets you only $15.6k in 10 years. The difference gets larger for more reasonable, lower rates.
quote:
assume the increase in insurance offsets oil changes which are cheap as crap

It's not just oil changes. It's all engine maintenance/repair plus brakes as well (regenerative braking takes away most break wear).

That plus the difference in resale value after 5 or 10 years will more than make up for the difference in insurance.


RE: Thoughts
By flyingpants1 on 5/26/2013 12:00:44 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno what kind of math you guys are doing, but $20k is $333 x 60 months, plus electricity which is almost negligible.
$14k is $233 x 60 months, plus gas which could be easily be over $100/mo depending.
So not only is there no "payback period", the EV may start putting extra money in your bank account every month from the very first day you drive it.

Compare 96 months and add more miles and more expensive gas, you can put like $12k in the bank with the EV version.


RE: Thoughts
By Mint on 5/26/2013 9:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what I've said repeatedly to these calculator inept fools.

If you lease, the EV is cheaper when including gas.

If you finance over 5 or more years, the EV is cheaper when including gas.

If you buy outright, with the gas car you save $6k but pay $100/mo extra for the life of the car. Nobody can get that rate of return on a $6k investment.


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