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Chev’s high-voltage Spark EV

2012-11-28 11:22

ELECTRIFYING LITTLE HATCH: Chevrolet's Spark mini-hatchback is the latest to be shown as an electric car.

  Gallery

Chevrolet is wrapping-up testing of its new electric hatchback spotted by our spy photographers at a car wash in the US.

Chevrolet has announced its latest electric car addition to the range to build on its Volt success. It’s none other than the petite Spark hatch - at an even more petite price!

The Spark EV has made its global debut at the 2012 Los Angeles international auto show and is expected to have the best range in its segment.

ON SALE IN 2013


Its price in the US will be heavily influenced by tax incentives so a price tag equivalent to less than R220 000 has been announced for the 2014 model year Spark EV. It will go on sale in certain US states from the middle of 2013.

The little electric Spark, according to the automaker, will have an advanced motor and drive unit to deliver best-in-class acceleration and two 7” LCD screens for the customisable display of vehicle functions and infotainment functions.

The Spark EV also will keep drivers connected via Chevrolet’s MyLink radio that safely brings smartphone-based infotainment – including apps for navigation and internet radio – into the vehicle, while customers with compatible iPhones will be able to use their phone’s Siri function.

It will also be the first EV, Chev said, with DC fast-charging capability to allow its battery packs to charge 80% in 20 minutes. Its on-board charging device accommodates three charging platforms – DC fast charge, AC 240V and 120V.

Using a dedicated 240V outlet, the car will recharge in less than seven  hours.

The Spark EV is powered by a GM-designed coaxial drive unit and electric motor that together deliver 110 kW and 542Nm of torque. Its lithium ion battery pack weighs 254kg and generates more than 20kWh. It is warranted for eight years or 160 000km.

Pamela Fletcher, Chevrolet’s executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles, said:  “The Spark EV battery has undergone more than 200 000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs.

“It is extremely durable and has undergone the same abuse tolerance testing as the Volt battery.”

WILL WE GET IT?


Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, said: “When you engineer a technology-filled, all-electric mini car that goes from zero-100km/h in less than eight seconds, customers won’t miss the petrol.

“The Volt and now the Spark EV show that Chevrolet not only knows EVs better than anyone but that we also know how to help customers get the most out of their EV experience.”

But, as promising as this little electric hatch seems, fans in South Africa will have to wait some time before this Spark is introduced here. Here's what a GMSA representative had to say:

"In all global markets the introduction of hybrid or electric vehicles has been underpinned by government incentives. In the South African market, electric and hybrid vehicles would prove to be expensive and whilst there are currently no government incentives in place to influence customer behaviour, demand would be very low.

"A further consideration would be the lack of an adequate infrastructure to support the use of these vehicles."

"From the manufacturer’s perspective, a key inhibitor is the high cost involved in developing such vehicles, which effectively restricts sales to the more developed markets. It is only when later generation models are developed, thus resulting in improved efficiency and lower costs, that these vehicles will become more affordable for introduction into developing markets.

"GM South Africa is currently evaluating several new and fuel efficient engines for upcoming future products. This is focused on providing our customers with vehicles which offer reduced operational costs as well as improved fuel economy."

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Read more on:    chevrolet  |  los angeles  |  spark  |  electric cars

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