Electric cars are all about offering a green alternative to fossil fuel-powered models (though, this is debatable if you consider where electricity comes from), but Chevrolet's newly developed Spark EV that was introduced ahead of its world premiere at the LA Auto Show this month, doesn't lack in performance, at least not on paper.
The 2014 Spark EV is driven by an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that according to GM's own words, "produces at least 100 kW", which is equal to 134hp or 136PS, and a massive instantaneous torque of around 400 lb.-ft. (542Nm!) with the coaxial drive unit.
Combined with the small footprint of the Spark, this results to a 0-60mph (96km/h) acceleration time less of than eight seconds, always according to GM.
“When our team set out to develop the propulsion system for Spark EV, we knew we had to provide surprising fun-to-drive acceleration with maximum efficiency,” said Spark EV Chief Engineer Chuck Russell.
“What we think customers will enjoy most is how fun Spark EV is to drive; it’s seamless and power is available at every stage of the drive,” Russell added. “This will help us to provide an exciting option for those customers who are looking for an EV that’s as much fun to drive as it is environmentally responsible.”
The pure-electric subcompact model receives its juice from a lithium-ion battery pack with at least 20kWh, mounted under the rear seat bench and partially into the boot area. GM will provide a warranty protection for the battery of eight years /100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The Spark EV will provide buyers with an industry-first SAE combo charger that can "fill" the battery up to 80 percent in approximately 20 minutes.
A full charging can also be completed in less than seven hours using a dedicated 240V charge, while owners can manage and monitor the battery remotely using a dedicated smart phone application, offered by OnStar.
“Spark EV’s battery has undergone more than 200,000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM’s global electrification engineering team. “This testing paved the way to allow our customers to do multiple DC Fast Charges daily to help alleviate range anxiety and improve convenience.”
The Detroit carmaker stated that more than 75 percent of the propulsion system components found on the Spark EV are sourced from the Volt and GM’s hybrid truck programs.
Production of the pure-electric Spark will begin in the U.S. in early 2013 with sales to start in California next summer. GM didn’t provide a sales date for other regions. More details are expected to be announced during the car's debut at the Los Angeles auto show at the end of the month.