2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Cars.com Review

2014ChevroletSparkEV

The Chevrolet Spark EV offers all you'd expect from a short-range electric commuter car — including some of the drawbacks but also some pleasant surprises. Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman says the impressive 130 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque from the subcompact's zero-emissions powertrain propel it briskly to highway speeds, while an EPA-estimated 82-mile range falls on the low end of what you may actually get. And while Spark EV drivers need not sacrifice interior comfort for 128-mpg-equivalent fuel economy, handling isn't what you’d call nimble. Read Bragman's review below.

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review

By Matt Schmitz | January 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

Study: Most Clueless About Electric Vehicle Subsidies

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Similar to the old "if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods" question, if government incentives to encourage the purchase of plug-in vehicles are offered, but no one knows about them, do they make a difference? A research team at Indiana University conducted a survey that shows not only are consumers unaware of available subsidies, rebates and other benefits — financial and otherwise — to owning a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, that disconnect could be keeping sales of the zero-emissions electric vehicles from reaching White House goals.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV: Quick Drive

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Zero-emissions vehicle mandates in California and several other states have brought about a smattering of specialty electric cars, and GM has obliged with the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV — a punchy runabout that ought to sell on its own strengths, not regulatory mandates.

Based on the Spark hatchback that hit U.S. dealers 15 months ago, the electric version is on sale in California and Oregon. We took a brief spin at a Midwest Automotive Media Association event near our Chicago offices, and GM ought to expand availability like Ford has done with the Focus Electric. The electric Spark has all the inherent issues that limit EV popularity, but as the class goes, this one's impressive.

By Kelsey Mays | November 1, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV: Photo Gallery

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Now making its second Los Angeles Auto Show appearance since 2011 and still without a hard number backing up its competitive-range claims, it remains to be seen how far the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will go with consumers. What we do know is that it offers a colorful exterior — with options like Electric Blue and Silver Ice paint — and some neat tech on the inside, specifically a pair of 7-inch color screens — one for the standard MyLink multimedia system and the other for function reports.

More 2012 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

It'll hit dealerships in limited quantities this summer in California and Oregon with a price tag of less than $25,000 after incentives. Check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | November 30, 2012 | Comments (0)

GM Aims for 500,000 Vehicles With Electrification by 2017

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Call it a power play in the electric-car market: GM projects that by 2017 it will have as many as half a million vehicles on the road with some form of electrification. Its next plug-in vehicle will be the Chevrolet Spark EV.

The focus will be on plug-in technology; GM's introduction of the extended-range Chevrolet Volt has energized the automaker to focus on the electric-vehicle market.

"What started out as a technology proof point … has turned into a real-world starting point to push EV technology further and faster than we thought possible five years ago," Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of Global Product Development, said in a statement. "The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt … will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward."

Not all of that experience has been positive, though. A report released by Reuters in September alleged that GM loses tens of thousands of dollars on every Volt due to development costs. Although the automaker disputed that figure, it acknowledged that Volt profits would not be immediate, but insisted that startup costs would be spread over future models.

By Matt Schmitz | November 16, 2012 | Comments (9)

Chevrolet Spark EV to Debut at L.A. Auto Show

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Chevrolet is hoping to spark some interest in its new minicar when an electric version of the Spark makes its debut later this month at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

So far, Chevy's smallest car has been a sales success. "Building on that success, the plug-in electric version of the Spark EV will offer consumers the same package that has made the gasoline-powered model so popular while delivering the technology and performance of pure electric power," the automaker said in a statement.

In addition to the Spark EV, other Chevrolet vehicles expected to be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, include the new Impala, Malibu Turbo midsize sedan, Sonic RS compact car, Traverse crossover and Camaro Hot Wheels Edition.

Related
Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Chevrolet Spark
2013 Chevrolet Spark EPA-Rated at 38 MPG
2013 Chevrolet Spark, Spark Electric at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show

By Matt Schmitz | November 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Chevy Spark First Look

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We were a bit peeved GM didn’t roll out the Chevy Spark at the Detroit auto show, instead holding it for the Geneva show in March. Today, the company released new details about the car, including more photos (below) and drivetrain information for Europe. It still hasn’t revealed any specs about the U.S. version, slated for a 2011 on-sale date. Yeah, 2011.

The new photos reveal a very stylish interior for a car slated to be extremely affordable. From what we can make out, though, the gauge cluster looks very small. No images of the seating configuration or cargo area were released.

At 143 inches long, the four-door Spark is shorter than a two-door Toyota Yaris. The company says it will feature standard safety features like stability control and side curtain airbags.

By David Thomas | February 10, 2009 | Comments (12)

What Happened to the Chevy Spark at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show

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In one of the untold stories of the 2009 Detroit auto show, General Motors inadvertently confused millions of TV viewers, car enthusiasts and even automotive journalists. It all started with a glowing series of segments on NBC’s Today Show last week.

During an interview with Matt Lauer — which you can watch here — GM executive Ed Welburn revealed the front end of an all new subcompact car that he said the company would reveal at the Detroit auto show on Sunday. Lauer repeated that it was a big deal that he couldn’t pull off the rest of the tarp or he’d get in trouble. Websites all over, including this one, concluded that it was the production version of the Beat subcompact that had debuted as a concept two years earlier.

GM didn't deny the reports once they hit hugely popular enthusiast sites like Jalopnik.com. Come Sunday, though, GM rolled out … the exact same 2007 Beat concept car it had showed two years ago — not a production version — in a rolling parade onto its stage for the company's press conference. On GM's media website, it released one lone image of the production vehicle, now called Spark, along with a formal announcement that the Spark would go on sale in the U.S. in 2011.

By David Thomas | January 15, 2009 | Comments (8)

2010 Chevy Spark at 2009 Detroit Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Smart ForTwo, Toyota Yaris
  • Looks like: Chevy’s small design is actually hip
  • Drivetrain: Unknown
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2009

In its rush to show the public its upcoming subcompact car, the Spark, GM rolled out a concept show car from two years ago. Usually when a company announces a new production car to go on sale in less than a year, the car shown is a pre-production version of the actual car they're going to sell with a working engine and an interior that's basically what you'll find at the dealership.

The Spark was so rushed that the concept shown is the same exact "Beat" show car from the 2007 New York auto show. The car above is the actual Spark, however, yet it didn't materialize here in Detroit. There are standard headlights, and the big news is that there are four doors instead of two from the Beat.

Chevy was light on details about the engine or any other specifics about the Spark. We'll follow the development of the car as its on-sale date at the end of 2009 approaches. We’d guess the production-ready car will debut in the flesh at a future car show in Washington D.C., Chicago or New York.

By David Thomas | January 11, 2009 | Comments (8)

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