Published on December 25th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown


Milestone: Chevy Spark Has The Option To Charge In 20 Minutes

December 25th, 2012 by  

Electric vehicle charge time may appear to be primarily a convenience issue, but fast charging makes a tremendous difference where practicality is concerned.

The Chevy Spark is reportedly being offered with a fast-charging option that will charge the vehicle in 20 minutes. Relatively fast charge times of 20 minutes mean that it is more feasible to recharge your electric vehicle in public if you are almost out of range.

Chevy Spark electric car.

The Chevy Spark electric vehicle can apparently charge to 80% of its capacity in 20 minutes with the fast-charging capability. Using a standard 240 volt outlet, it takes 7 hours.

When shopping for an electric vehicle, one of my priorities would be charge time, because it dictates whether or not you can travel long distances.

The Chevy Spark is just under $25,000 with the federal tax credit (just under $32,500 without it). In the U.S, it will only be available in two states: California and Oregon. With additional EV tax credits in those two states, the price could actually be even lower.

It will also be available in Europe, South Korea, and Canada.

The Chevy Spark will also be equipped with the Apple Siri agent to assist the driver so they don’t have to look at the screen as often.

This is a major improvement from GM. Battery charge times have been decreasing. Many chargers are still designed for slow charging — as the fast-charging ones are larger, more powerful, and more expensive — but the ability of batteries themselves to charge faster has improved quite a bit.

It is now common for batteries to be capable of charging in less than an hour using the correct chargers.


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • science guru

    OOPS, spelling error….”recommends”

  • science guru

    I have two comments,
    1 – Nicholas Brown, you stated that the Spark is $25,000.00 without tax credits. That is incorrect, it is about $25,000.00 WITH tax credits applied.
    2 – Bob Wallace, you commented that Nissan says Leaf owners “should” use rapid charging more than once a day. Nissan recomends that you DON’T use rapid charging more than once a day.
    Please do the research and check your facts before posting the information.
    Thank you

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yes, a typo on my part. The missing “not”. Sorry.

      I think you can tell what I was trying to say from the rest of my post.

    • thanks for the catch on #1. just updated the post.

  • Rob Ryan

    I’ve read that frequent use of fast charging can dramatically reduce battery life. Battery replacement would be a huge expense. Do you have any indication of the effect of frequent fast recharging for this particular installation?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Nissan says that Leaf owners should use rapid charging more than once a day. Most people would use rapid charging only on long trips so a couple times a day a few days a year wouldn’t use up much of that 365/yr allowance.
      Nissan may have to modify that when it comes to rapid charging in very hot times. Heat is hard on batteries and if it’s already over 100F outside you’d be starting from there and going higher.

      BTW, we commonly see battery prices talked about as $400 – $500/kWh. It appears that battery prices are now down to around $250/kWh. That would cut replacement cost roughly in half.

  • James Van Damme

    On the road, this is a tolerable recharge time. But imagine half a dozen cars recharging at a station at one time. A lotta juice.

    At home, I don’t need to recharge in 20 minutes; overnight is fine.

  • The final frontier will be car to home and car to grid. When the energy that is stored can power your home or biz with the added benefit of being able to turn a profit by selling its stored energy to the grid. Distributed decentralized energy is becoming the key to future resiliency with large scale power outages becoming more and more prevalent we need to look at our home and cars as energy production centers.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You can plug your house into a Nissan Leaf right now.

      There’s a research project underway right now in Denmark where they are using privately owned EVs for grid storage.

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