At the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York City, Pam Fletcher, GM Executive Chief Engineer for Electrified Vehicles, AKA "Queen of the Volt," announced that Chevrolet's new 2014 Spark EV will be the most energy efficient retail electric vehicle available in the US—with a combined city/highway EPA estimated range of 82 miles when fully charged, and an EPA-estimated combined city/highway of 119 MPG-equivalent.
The Spark EV will also be the first electric vehicle on the market to offer, as an available option, the recently approved SAE combo charger for DC Fast Charging. This nifty add-on will allow you to recharge up to 80% of the battery's capacity in about 20 minutes, and it will be able to handle multiple fast charges daily. Charging can be managed and monitored remotely using the Spark EV’s smart phone application, provided by OnStar, which comes standard for three years when you purchase the Spark EV.
The 82 mile range and ability to quick charge should help to alleviate some of the range anxiety that has been hanging like a gray cloud over EV purchase decisions.
The Spark EV isn't a golf cart-like driver either. Chevy says it delivers performance as well. “We’re poised to deliver to the market an EV that’s not just efficient," says GM's Fletcher, "but also thrilling to drive thanks to the 400 lb-ft torque output of its electric motor.”
Chevy is also boasting of the Spark EV's (relative) quickness to highway speeds. They point to the vehicle's 0-60 time of under 8 seconds as setting an acceleration benchmark for an urban city electric vehicle. Not that you'd want to waste valuable MPGe's trying to smoke a Prius off the line, but it's nice to know you can get in front of that semi before you hit that single lane zone.
Going on sale this summer in California and Oregon at a price point "under $25,000 with tax incentives," Chevy says that compared to the average new vehicle, the Spark EV can potentially save its owners up to $9,000 in fuel cost over five years.
In July, we are going to have the opportunity to test drive the Spark EV, see how it handles, and how average driving affects range, so stay tuned for that article. And if there's anything specific you'd like us to test during the drive, let us know in the comments below.