[Additional reporting by Nino Marchetti]
GM division Chevrolet announced earlier this week it will produce an all-electric version of its Chevrolet Spark mini-car – the Spark EV. It will be sold in limited quantities in select U.S. and global markets starting in 2013. The Spark EV will be the first fully-electric vehicle manufactured by the auto manufacturing giant since the EV-1.
Chevy has yet to release some key facts about the Spark EV, such as range, availability and pricing, but the automaker did say the Spark would be available in California. However Chevy, in India, rolled out earlier this year an electric version of its Beat, which happens to share the same platform as the Spark. At that time it was noted the range offered was at least 130 km under normal driving conditions, which equates to about 80 miles. Green Car Reports notes the Spark EV will have a battery pack of roughly 20 kilowatt-hours capacity, which is the same capacity as the Beat EV from India.
Is it possible, therefore, that the India version will be the same as the American?
Now, to be clear, driving conditions are definitely different between the US and India, so we are just speculating based upon the shared platform and battery information floating around out there. The American batteries are also being provided by A123 Systems, while that of the Indian version remains unclear as to who provided them. That being said, a Chevy EV with a range around 80 miles certainly would make for a useful urban car.
Feedback from participants in Chevrolet’s electric vehicle demonstration fleets in Shanghai, Korea and India are being incorporated into the Spark EV. The gasoline version of the Spark already is being made and sold in some global markets and features a 1.2-liter, 83-horsepower, four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission.
“The Spark EV is another step in Chevrolet’s plan to provide customers with a variety of electrification solutions to address the lifestyle and transportation needs of people around the world,” said Jim Federico, global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet. “The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option. It complements Chevrolet’s growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology.”