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2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Debut

The Chevy Spark EV shocks the small car and electric world with power and new tech.

What's New

The Chevrolet Spark EV electrifies the popular Spark mini car and expands the existing notions of electric vehicles. Chevy has already invested heavily in battery research and electric motor technology for its Chevy Volt extended-range EV. Seeking to apply some of that knowledge to the rest of its range, the Detroit automaker's an all-electric version of the Spark makes 130 hp and an astonishing amount of low-end power. The Spark EV is also the first car in North America to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charge, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to charge the battery pack. In just 20 minutes, Chevy says up to 80 percent of the battery can be charged. With a more traditional 240-volt car charging outlet, the Spark EV is fully charged after about seven hours. The electric Chevrolet is no slouch either, with a 0-60 mph time of less than 8.0 seconds.

Who It's For

Electric cars are still finding their way as automakers experiment with different technologies and possibilities. Consumers are still worried about electric range, and charging is still a hassle. Although the Spark EV can work with the SAE Fast Charge system, accessibility and price are still concerns. But Chevrolet says the Spark EV will start at less than $25,000 after federal incentives. Not wanting to bite off more than it can chew, the Spark EV will initially debut in the electric friendly states of California and Oregon. The quick on its feet EV will also debut in Canada and South Korea. Competitors may include the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi iMiEV, and some eco-minded compact and sub-compact shoppers.

Key Features

The Chevrolet Spark EV builds on the Spark's warm reception with an all-electric version that boasts unique capabilities.
  • Can charge up to 80 percent of its battery in 20 minutes with the SAE Combo DC Fast Charge.
  • 0-60 mph in under 8.0 seconds
  • Starts under $25k after federal incentives
  • Chevy applied lessons and technology from the its Volt research

What We Think

The Chevrolet Spark EV offers a unique proposition—an accessibly priced electric vehicle that offers a measure of fun and performance. It's easy to get about town, and qualifies for the HOV/Carpool lane in California. But the Spark EV is still an experiment. Chevy is using safe testing markets such as California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea to gauge interest. On paper, there's a lot to like about the Chevrolet Spark EV. We're looking forward to getting behind the wheel to see what it's like to live with.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Los Angeles 2012