2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Test Drive – SlashGear

2 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Test Drive – SlashGear
Chevrolet Spark

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Drive

Chevrolet has big ambitions for its electric car, the Spark EV. The city car follows the Volt, the gas engine in the process and embracing motoring at a competitive price. As seen, though, small EVs can fall into the trap of so eco earnest as to be deathly dull, or entirely impractical for everyday

Can the Spark EV keep the best of its predecessor and blend it with the of electric motoring? We caught up Chevrolet for an extended test-drive to see how the EV fared.


The styling of the EV isn#8217;t new, a chunky, wedge that looks, its steeply rising shoulder-line and rear handles, more a three-door at first glance. In there are doors front and pushing the wheels to the very and giving it a squat, punchy Like many subcompacts more cute than it is but it wears the new closed upper-grille and the standard 15-inch alloys are

More importantly, perhaps, says it#8217;s more than its gas-powered cousin. A new design helps there, with wheel deflectors and a integrated rear spoiler; also an automatic shutter behind what#8217;s left in the grille, to adjust airflow.

At inches long and 64-inches the Spark EV is shorter and narrower Nissan#8217;s Leaf, though you out on cargo space because of Rear seats up, the Chevrolet#8217;s trunk accommodates just 9.6 feet, versus the Leaf#8217;s ample 24 cubic feet; the seats, and you#8217;ll get a healthier cubic feet into the EV (or 30 cubic feet into the

Still, it#8217;s comfortably for a grocery shop, and the smaller EV bests its Nissan rival on weight, too. The Chevrolet is pounds, while the Leaf in at 3,391 pounds; if that sounds heavy, then you to blame the electrics. The EV version of the is 621 pounds lighter than its auto cousin.

Engines and

We#8217;ll admit it, we#8217;re about conversions, like the journey from gas-powered to EV: all, more than the engine goes into a good car. The weight too was, on paper at least, warning sign. Finally, in that the original Spark was going to be mistaken for a sport-compact, and you can our reticence.

We needn#8217;t have Both of Chevrolet#8217;s Spark EV #8211; the cheaper 1LT and more 2LT #8211; use the same powertrain, a drive electric motor 130 HP. That#8217;s already 1.5x than the gas Spark, but it#8217;s you look at torque that get really interesting.

Out of the box there#8217;s 400 of torque, which is simply for a city car. In contrast, the gas Spark up sufficiently, and you#8217;ll 83 lb-ft out of it at most. The end result is like other electric the Spark EV simply throws at the road with an eagerness and that belies its more origins.

The good news doesn#8217;t there. Since the Spark EV is than its forebear, Chevrolet#8217;s had to do some work to the suspension and distribution. That#8217;s worked out to far ride quality when taking things easily and to coax out maximum range, as as more enthusiastic and eager when you#8217;re making the of all that torque.

Chevrolet a sub-8s 0-60 mph time, with a top speed of 90 mph, but the EV excels with point city driving, dashing gaps in traffic, thrumming from lights, and generally considerably more lively you might expect. It#8217;s very quiet inside, with just the occasional from the electric drive.

Two modes are on offer. In regular mode, the Spark EV mimics a automatic gearchange, albeit any noticeable shift-jerk; flip #8220;Low#8221; mode, however, and the braking system #8211; claws back power by turning the electric drive into generators #8211; in more aggressively, rapidly the car when you lift your off the accelerator. It takes a little used to, but it can add to your overall

Range is the big question around especially pure-electric cars the Spark EV. Chevrolet quotes up to 82 on a full charge of the 21.3 kWh battery, with the option to up#8221; either from a 120V AC supply, from a 240V supply, or finally an SAE Standard Fast Charging

The difference between the three is On an SAE connection, which should more prevalent as this progresses, the Spark EV will to 80-percent in around 20 minutes A 240V charge takes like seven hours, says; best to treat the cord as a travel emergency since a full recharge on can take up to 20 hours.

We didn#8217;t long enough with the EV to test the various charging though we did grow to appreciate Driver Information Center, delivers dynamic battery to a 7-inch screen on the dashboard on which in the following section). than simply offer a figure for remaining range, the EV adds a #8220;confidence#8221; number to the based on whether you#8217;re enthusiastically or sticking to more patterns. The Spark EV even to gamily the process with an Gauge#8221;, encouraging the responsible to keep an animated green centered by driving sensibly.

Given the sticker price, not surprising that Chevrolet has on the standard-fit equipment versus the model. So, the Spark EV 1LT still that 7-inch touchscreen 6-speaker audio with radio, Bluetooth for streaming and use, a USB connection, air conditioning, keyless entry and power power windows and mirrors, control, an alarm, and fog lamps out of the

The 2LT version throws in #8220;dark leatherette front seats blue accent stitching, are also heated, and a leather-wrapped wheel. It also gets the DV Charger as an option. Both have 10 airbags, hill-start tire pressure monitoring, and

Chevrolet#8217;s MyLink entertainment makes an appearance, too, advantage of the Bluetooth connectivity to get the EV online via your smartphone. One the car can stream from internet stations as well as services Pandora, in addition to Siri control. There#8217;s also for BringGo, a turn-by-turn navigation priced at $49.99, including 3D and overlaid indicators to show how the remaining of the Spark EV meshes up your programmed destination.

it#8217;s worth noting #8211; unlike some MyLink-equipped cars in Chevrolet#8217;s #8211; the Spark EV doesn#8217;t the enhanced voice recognition Gracenote database access for track, or indeed have a CD Still, as systems go, it#8217;s #8211; certainly for a city car and intuitive enough to use on the move.

The of the cabin is solid, though you mistake it for a Tesla Model S. The are sturdy though not especially to the touch, with the glossy for the touchscreen keen to pick up Everything works, and the standard list is bulging, but it#8217;s where GM#8217;s budgetary show to the greatest extent; the seats, for instance, aren#8217;t going to be mistaken for real


On Chevrolet#8217;s books, the EV starts at $26,685 for the 1LT and $27,010 for the Throw in the most generous tax credit #8211; which by state, though initially the car only be sold in California and #8211; and you can cut that by up to $7,500, the total cost of entry to $19,185 excluding the usual registration, and other fees.

Chevrolet will offer you the EV on a $199 per month lease: down to begin with, fees and taxes, and then than $200 a month for years. It#8217;s hard to the fact that, for under a month, the Spark EV lease easily be cheaper than spend in gas over the same

As for the optional 240V charger, will offer up to $500 to EV drivers #8211; whether buy the car outright, or lease it #8211; its cost, though they#8217;ll be to foot the bill for Bosch themselves.


Electric cars are not for everyone. The Spark EV#8217;s 82 range is likely fine for dwellers, but those with ambitious driving needs easily find themselves the limits of the Chevrolet#8217;s endurance. If workplace has a 240V charger that may not be insurmountable, but relying on the portable charger #8211; and its rejuicing times #8211; you#8217;re likely to see the Spark EV more time plugged in one the road.

That would be a shame, too, since the EV is one of the best driving electric #8211; and, indeed, cars #8211; we#8217;ve in a long time. The immediacy of the the great lashings of torque more, Chevrolet tongue-in-cheek out, than a Porsche S or a Ferrari 458 Italia #8211; and the steering and suspension add up to an eco car that akin to wearing a hair-shirt in of worthy-but-dull driving.

Tesla#8217;s S may be the poster child of environmentally transportation, but with its competitive pricing and solid balance of and features, the Chevrolet Spark EV is the peoples#8217; choice. It#8217;s a that easily outclasses its and is worth considering by city looking for peppy frugality the guilt of gas.

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