All EVs have their own particular merits: some climb, some race, some only have three wheels, and some are even prone to melting. Chevrolet's Spark EV may not have any of these credentials, but now it's found the right feather to fit its cap as the "most efficient" retail car. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Spark has a combined city / highway range of 82 miles on a full charge of its 21 kWh battery, and has given the vehicle a rating of 119 MPGe (a gasoline-equivalent figure). As Autoblog notes, Honda's Fit EV will go 82 miles on a smaller 20 kWh battery but, once the regulators have done fiddling with digits, it only scores 118 MPGe. That's the efficiency number that matters, and whether you're saving the world or just trying to save money, every mile counts. You'll be able to put that EPA rating to the test this summer when the Spark EV goes on sale in California and Oregon, but until then, check out the official certificate below the fold for more juicy details (read: efficiency stats).
Chevrolet Spark Most Efficient U.S. Retail Electric Vehicle
Electric range EPA estimated at 82 miles
NEW YORK – The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is the industry benchmark in retail electric vehicle efficiency with a combined city/highway EPA estimated range of 82 miles when fully charged and an EPA-estimated combined city/highway 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent.
Compared to the average new vehicle, the Spark EV can potentially save its owners up to $9,000 in fuel cost over five years. The Spark EV goes on sale this summer in California and Oregon.
"Being able to provide our customers with the best overall efficiency of any retail EV has always been a key target for the Spark EV engineering team," said Pam Fletcher, GM executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles. "We're poised to deliver to the market an EV that's not just efficient, but also thrilling to drive thanks to the 400 lb-ft torque output of its electric motor."
The Spark EV's 21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack will continue Chevrolet's tradition of offering industry-leading limited warranty protection – eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Spark EV will be the first vehicle on the market to offer as an available option the recently approved SAE combo charger for DC Fast Charging. The capability, available shortly after launch, will enable the Spark EV to recharge up to 80 percent of its capacity in approximately 20 minutes. The battery system is capable of handling multiple DC Fast Charges daily. Charging can also be completed in less than seven hours using a dedicated 240V charge. A 120V charge cord set comes standard. Charging can be managed and monitored remotely using the Spark EV's smart phone application, provided by OnStar, which is standard for three years.
"The Chevrolet Spark EV is a great city car which blends technology, functionality and style in an unexpected package" said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small and electrified vehicle marketing. "We built on the success of the Volt and the gas-powered Spark to offer an affordable, fun and efficient mini car our customers will love to drive."
The Chevrolet Spark EV will set an acceleration benchmark for an urban city electric vehicle – 0-60 mph in under eight seconds due to the mating of a permanent magnet electric motor, which produces more than 100 kW (130 hp), with the coaxial drive unit.
The GM designed oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor is the heart of the Spark EV's propulsion system. Putting more than half a million road miles on development versions of the Spark EV enabled engineers to make the performance of the electric motor the best it could be by using a bar wound copper stator and unique rotor configuration.
The motor and drive unit are assembled at GM's Baltimore operations plant in White Marsh, Md. Last week, the plant celebrated Spark EV motor production, marking the first time a major U.S. auto manufacturer has designed and built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.