So you are thinking of wanting to get one of the new 2014 Chevrolet Spark electric vehicles, but aren’t sure about the ins and outs of this small car? It isn’t rocket science to ease your transition into one of these, but in case you have some questions or hesitations, the folks at General Motors have some tips for you to consider.
One thing to know before the tips though – you’ll only be interested in these right now if you live in California or Oregon, which is where the electric car is available domestically for around $20,000 with tax incentives. Sales will expand as well to Canada, South Korea and Europe later.
Now, as for those tips from GM:
- Recharge daily – And do it quicker with the soon-to-be-available SAE combo charger for DC fast charging. It can recharge the 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to 80-percent capacity in 20 minutes.
- Extend range – Maximize the mini-car’s EPA-estimated 82 miles (130 km) of driving range by recharging in public charging stations, or use Spark EV’s standard 120V cord in any outlet.
- Don’t be a juice hog – Public charging stations are in high demand. After charging, move on so that other EV owners can recharge. Or if parking conditions allow, place a note on your dashboard saying it’s okay to unplug your car if the Green Light indicating a full charge is flashing.
- Know the distance – The available BringGo smartphone app can help Spark EV owners know how far they can go without recharging by providing full-function, in-dash navigation via Chevrolet MyLink as well as live traffic updates, for less than $60.
- Go with the flow – Many EV owners like to maximize range by driving at or below the speed limit. No problem, just steer clear of the fast lane so other Spark EV drivers can enjoy their instant torque.
- Be loud – The Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function projects a light chirp and calls attention to Spark EV’s presence. Pulling the turn signal lever back while in Drive will give a friendly honk. The alert can be set to activate automatically in Drive and Reverse at speeds below 18 mph (28 km/h).
- Enjoy the savings – Spark EV can save its owners approximately $9,000 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle – that’s $150 per month that can be spent on something else.
- Be an EV advocate – Expect to get lots of questions about Spark EV. Take these opportunities to spread the advantages of going gas free.
The Chevy Spark EV debuted this past November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where we got a chance to get a hands on look at this fun little electric ride. Targeting a more urban commuter crowd, we thought of it at the time that its fun look, excellent range and ok sticker price would give consumers something to consider as they shopped around for a rather entry level EV. The reviews since than have found the Spark being described as “fun,” “spunky” and a “hoot to drive,” according to GM, reinforcing the notion the automaker may have a sleeper hit on its hands.