Consumer Reports: Chevy Spark Gas vs Chevy Spark EV

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This article originally published on Gas2
by Christopher DeMorro


Since the demise of the EV1, General Motors has stayed away from pure electric cars. The Chevy Spark EV is its first attempt at a battery electric vehicle in about a decade, and once again GM has built an EV worth owning. In fact Consumer Reports even prefers the all-electric Spark to the gas-powered version GM also sells.

What Consumer Reports loves the most about the Chevy Spark EV is the 400 ft-lbs of torque, which makes the little electric car quite fun to drive. Unlike the gas-powered version, which has just 84 horsepower and 83 ft-lbs of torque from a 1.2 liter engine, the Spark EV has more get-up-and-go. Consumer Reports also notes that the Spark EV is a lot quieter than the normal Spark, another benefit.

Priced at just $27,495 the Spark EV is also surprisingly affordable, and can be had for well under $20,000 with applicable state and Federal tax rebates. A full charge is typically good for up to 82 miles of driving, though the lack of an onboard charging system means the Spark can take 7 hours or more to recharge.

With rising EV sales and more affordable options than ever, are electric cars finally coming into their own?

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7 thoughts on “Consumer Reports: Chevy Spark Gas vs Chevy Spark EV

  • Well, since this week I have my own affordable EV: the Renault Zoe. I am really curious about how the Spark EV compares to the Zoe.

    You can read about my adventures with my Zoe (and more of my ever more electricity-focused lifestyle) on my blog.

  • The article states, “A full charge is typically good for up to 82 miles of driving, though the lack of an onboard charging system means the Spark can take 7 hours or more to recharge.”

    The car does have an on-board charger. If it didn’t, you couldn’t charge it at all. The Level 2 SAE connector that all modern EVs (except Tesla) use allows for charging from any L2 station in the country. In addition, the Sparc I drove last week had the SAE Level 3 port which allows the vehicle to be charged in as little as half an hour from a Level 3 charger. Currently, there are no L3 chargers installed anywhere in the U.S.

    The Sparc is indeed quick. I sell the Nisan LEAF, and our car is quite fast as well, but the Sparc will clean its clock.

    • Good info, but a question on the L3 chargers.

      This map shows over 100 DC rapid chargers (set the filter to DC Quick Charge). Are those not L3s?

      Sounds like the Spark might cause Nissan to step up their game. That’s good news. We need competition to drive range up and cost down.

      • Bob, the DC chargers you see on the map are “Chademo” DC quick chargers. They are a different type from the SAE Level 3 units. There are thousands of Chademo in Japan and several hundred here in the U.S. The Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi iMiEV use this standard. SAE created a competing standard for the U.S. and some Euro EVs, but to date, not a single unit has been installed. Both standards use 480 volt, 3 phase power, so manufacturers can install one unit with both connectors to serve all EVs.

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