Fast-Charging Chevy Spark EV Most Efficient Retail EV In US

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The new Chevy Spark EV, a compact electric vehicle, has a combined city/highway efficiency of 119 MPGe, according to the EPA — a record.

Chevy Spark EV. Image Credit: Chevrolet
Chevy Spark EV.
Image Credit: Chevrolet

This efficiency translates to fuel savings of up to $9,000 after five years. This cutely named vehicle will go on sale in California and Oregon for less than $25,000, which is quite cheap for an electric car.

The 2013 Nissan Leaf is rated at a combined fuel efficiency of 116 MPGe, the Honda Fit EV 116 MPGe, the Fiat 500e 115 MPGe, the Mitsubishi i 112 MPGe, the 2013 smart electric 107 MPGe, the Ford Focus Electric 105 MPGe, and the Tesla Model S 89–95 MPGe. Only the Toyota Scion IQ has a better MPGe than the Chevy Spark EV, but it is only available for carsharing and university campus clients at the moment.

Image Credit: Chevrolet

The Chevy Spark EV travels 82 miles per charge, and can be charged up to 80% of its capacity in only 20 minutes.

That means that you can add 65 miles of range in only 20 minutes! This is very important because it gives you the opportunity to recharge quickly enough if you are concerned about being stranded (provided that there is a fast charger where you are).

Speaking of range. The Chevy Spark is equipped with a 21 kWh lithium-ion battery bank, and, according to GM, an unusual amount of torque:

“Being able to provide our customers with the best overall efficiency of any retail EV has always been a key target for the Spark EV engineering team,” said Pam Fletcher, GM executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles. “We’re poised to deliver to the market an EV that’s not just efficient, but also thrilling to drive thanks to the 400 lb-ft torque output of its electric motor.”

That is a torque to HP ratio of 4:1! That is very extreme for cars, in general. Gasoline engines’ torque to HP ratio normally does not exceed 1:1. (Though, I have seen electric motors that are 7:1.)

Summary: The Chevy Spark’s torque blows away that off all gasoline-fueled cars in its HP class, if Chevy is telling the truth. Its MPGe is top of the league. And it can recharge very quickly (by today’s standards).

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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

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