Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown1
Consumer Reports: Chevy Spark EV Is Better Than Chevy Spark Gasmobile
The Chevy Spark EV is a compact electric vehicle with some very unusual characteristics (in a good way).
1. The Chevy Spark EV can recharge in as little as 20 minutes using a special charging accessory.
2. The Chevy Spark EV generates 400 pound-feet of torque (causing brisk acceleration), and 130 horsepower! Electric motors have the potential to generate more torque (in the pound-feet/foot pounds) units than horsepower. However, electric vehicle motors are not usually built like this. But the Chevy Spark EV is, and it is supposed to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 7.5 to 8 seconds.
The Spark motor generates 3 times more pound-feet of torque than it does horsepower. Since most people are not familiar with electric propulsion systems, to put this into perspective: gasoline combustion engines normally generate less torque than they do horsepower.
The starting price for the Chevy Spark EV before incentives is $27,495, less than the Nissan Leaf, but it is only to be available in California and Oregon to begin with. In California, with the full federal EV tax credit and the California EV rebate, the car would cost $17,495. In Oregon, federal and state EV incentives could bring the car down to $19,245
As is always the case when shopping for a new vehicle: You should test drive the car and decide whether or not you’re comfortable with it before buying it. The very well respected Consumer Reports crew does this for a living, and it has found that the Chevy Spark EV is actually better than the Chevy Spark gasmobile: “The latest Chevrolet Spark is the most recent EV to attempt to shatter electric cars’ reputation as anemic and inept. And it succeeds, being the best version of this small hatchback.”
That’s quite a statement. And it gets even better:
The Spark EV is General Motors’ entry in the crucial California market to meet that state’s Zero Emissions Vehicle requirement. But it’s also one of the most enjoyable electric cars we’ve driven and a compelling overall package.
Turning the diminutive Spark into an EV transforms it into a punchy, zippy, fun little runabout, a far cry from the conventional, slow noisy and stiff Spark that earned a meager overall score in our tests.
If you get a Spark EV or test drive one, we’d love to hear your thoughts.