User avatar
evnow
Moderator
Posts: 11447
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 303
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:59 pm

SanDust wrote:
evnow wrote:Spark, I think, is ranked 145 in China.
Not doing too well in the "primary markets", I guess ;)
OMG. I forgot that the Toyota Highlander and the BMW 3-Series were in the same class as a Spark!

OMG, I didn't realize you had all those qualifiers in your generic statement !
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to 5/25/2018
Model 3 : 5/10/2018 to ?

KeiJidosha
Gold Member
Posts: 873
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 11:57 am
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2011
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:01 pm

jhm614 wrote:...Do we know if the Spark is just a compliance car or will it come to all 50 states?

My brother lives in Kansas so I asked about availability there. Dealers have been specifically instructed not to sell outside California for now. I think Thermal Battery Management makes Spark EV very attractive to those living with a wider temp range. Also was told the heater uses a heat pump, not a resistive element. Seems to me like GM has gone to a lot of trouble to optimize a car that is meant only for compliance.
- 2009 BMW MINI E > 2013 Honda Fit EV > 2017 Chevy Bolt EV
- 2013 Ford C-Max Energi > Tesla Model 3 (Reservation) :?:

ELROY
Posts: 292
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:36 pm
Delivery Date: 27 Oct 2012
Leaf Number: 023406
Location: Camarillo, CA

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:28 pm

I went to test drive the Spark EV today at Bunnin Chevrolet. (Culver City). Took the drive there in the LEAF. Trip was 52 miles. Left with 100% charge...got there with 3 bars remaining...(27 mi on the GOM). Had to charge it 3 hrs to get back to 9 bars. Only made it to 97 mi total trip with 1 bar remaining (6 mi GOM) and had to stop in Thousand Oaks to charge for 1 hr to finish the 107 mi total trip. So here I am wishing that the LEAF had a little more range. (My Batt Capacity reads 93% now). I figured the FIT or the Spark with the extra range would allow me to make trips like this with less on the road charging needed to complete the trip (with LBW and 6 miles left on the GOM)

I had high expectations of the Spark being a sensationally quick car with its 400lbs of torque. I guess my expectations were too high. It went from being one of my top picks, to one I probably will not consider getting now. Here were my findings:

Definitely less interior space. The leg room is fine in front and back. But the width is noticeably tighter than the LEAF. The salesman and my arms were almost touching at times. Rear cargo space is not very big, and the floor is high...(same as the hatch opening). The LEAF cargo bin area is much deeper.

Didn't really like the hard baby blue plastic trim across the dash and door panels.

Drove the Spark in town and on the fwy 75mph+. I had the car in sport mode. There was no tire burning, shove you in the back acceleration that I expected from the 400lbs/torque. I really think the LEAF feels more impressive 0-30mph still. (May have been the 250lb salesman in the passenger seat causing this???) . Or perhaps because the LEAF is so quiet and smooth, the acceleration seems more impressive. On the FWY and at speeds above 40mph, acceleration still feels non existent to me (like the LEAF). Although looking at the speedometer needle climb in my 60-75mph testing, I would say it is faster than the LEAF. And flooring it at 20mph felt surprisingly zippy. So perhaps faster in instrumented testing above 40mph...still definitely not anything I would switch from the LEAF for, as I originally though I might. Being a performance junkie, I even brought my Vbox GPS tester (Like the magazines use) , but after my underwhelming impressions, didn't really see the point.

Car definitely has more road/tire noise on the 91 FWY. Enough so that it didn't even seem much quieter than a similar ICE vehicle might be. More noise in general.

On the fwy, at higher speeds, the car had an annoying instability to it (almost like it wanted to swerve). Noticed it a couple of times. Also had a much choppier ride than the LEAF. Not sure if the suspension was much better handling in twisties perhaps, but didn't notice anything particularly astounding in my city driving.

In the pictures the steering wheel looked kind of cheap...but I actually found it kind of nice with the aluminum and the angular leather wrap.

The car only has the 3.3KW charger, and currently are not equipped with the DC SAE Combo quick charger port.

After driving all the way there...driving the Spark, and then getting right back in my car....I would say the LEAF just seems more upscale. Smoother, quieter, and more amenities. (ie, LED headlights, rearview camera, on board navigation, rear heated seats, DC quick charge port, etc)

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

dm33
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 4:43 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:50 pm

ELROY wrote:I went to test drive the Spark EV today at Bunnin Chevrolet

Thanks for the review!
I was hoping someone would go over and drive one of them.
Seems that the biggest question goes unanswered. What is the range like? Manufacturers can make all the claims they want, but how many miles can it really do.

I rented the ICE version of the Spark for 2 weeks. I generally liked the car but agree with your assessment of the ride, and I hear the EV is much better than the ICE. I found the car tiny, cute, fun to drive in town, but unnerving on the highway. Very bouncy and gets tossed around by passing trucks or high winds. Overall stressful ride on the highway. I found the car cute but impractically small. My kids could not ride in the back seat because the headrest sticks forward making it very uncomfortable especially if you're small. There's no truck space to speak of and looks like there's much less in the EV. Barely room for groceries.

Range is the big question. Did GM manage to eek out an appreciably longer range. I tend to doubt its that significant, and given the other disadvantages of such a small car, it doesn't really matter to me. I also find the Fiat 500 and Honda Fit to be too small as well. It surprised me to see how much bigger the Leaf feels inside than the Volt. And the Volt is much bigger than these other cars.

Stoaty
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:31 am

dm33 wrote:Range is the big question. Did GM manage to eek out an appreciably longer range. I tend to doubt its that significant, and given the other disadvantages of such a small car, it doesn't really matter to me.

EPA range of Spark - 82 miles
EPA range of Leaf charged to 100% - 84 miles
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

jamuraa
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:08 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Jun 2013
Leaf Number: 408023
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:39 am

ELROY wrote:I went to test drive the Spark EV today at Bunnin Chevrolet. (Culver City).


Thanks for the detailed review. I took a double-take at it because the outside looks really close to the Sonic that I driving as a rental (with option to buy) before the Leaf. Nothing like a Chevy interior to put you off a car, I say. Cramped. It's what kept me off the Volt too.

lion
Posts: 557
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:23 pm
Delivery Date: 22 May 2013

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:05 am

That's the first EV I've seen which doesn't scream EV (but cheap econobox instead), don't see any blue accents, etc. Wondering if Chevy is planning on offering multiple trims, since this car didn't have CCS, and the front bumper seems to have cutouts for foglights.

fengshui
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:07 pm

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Thanks for the review, Elroy. My sense of that while the spark does have 400 Foot-Pounds coming off of the engine, they run it through a smaller 3:1 gear. Most of the other manufacturers (Nissan, Tesla, etc.) use a ~9:1 gearing. That means that at wheel torque is roughly equivalent, if a little better on the Spark. It's nowhere near the wheel torque of the P85 Tesla, however.

LKK
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:27 am

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:55 pm

If you haven't already read it, here's a review from Consumers Reports:

http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/20 ... spark.html

Not sure if they liked it, but they didn't pan it.

GRA
Posts: 9405
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:48 pm

Very positive First Drive report from Green Car Reports:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/108 ... ive-report
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

Return to “Other Electric Cars & Plug-In Hybrids”