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Unread 07-19-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default [AutoGuide] 2014 Chevy Spark EV Review (And it's good!)



"FAST FACTS
1. Electric engine creates 140 hp and roughly 400 lb-ft of torque.
2. Range is an estimated at 82 miles on a full charge. (21kWh Lithium pack)
3. The Spark EV is rated at 119 MPGe.
4. Priced at $27,495, the Spark EV will run $19,995 after federal tax incentives."


"To save on development costs, the Spark EV uses the same six-speed automatic gearbox housing, but with only one 3.17 final drive ration gear inside.... From a stop, up a steep hill or on the freeway, stab the throttle and the Spark EV thrusts away with authority; pushing you back in our seat with unexpected determination. Chevrolet claims a 0-60 mph time of roughly 7.6 seconds, which blows most electric vehicles away. This is also a lot faster than the gas-powered Spark and Chevrolet has had to upgrade the half shafts to handle all the extra power."

"So, a city car with more torque than a Ford Mustang GT is going to just obliterate the front tires into smoke, right? Well, not exactly, thanks to engine management and gearing."

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review: Car Reviews
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Unread 07-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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Hmm. So it's A: Uglier than a baboon's bottom, B: only goes 82 miles per charge, C: will still take quite a while to recharge, and D: is little more than a simple hack-and-slash "Replace I4 with emotor" job?


Good luck GM. You're gonna need it with this one.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kenny McCormick View Post
Hmm. So it's A: Uglier than a baboon's bottom, B: only goes 82 miles per charge, C: will still take quite a while to recharge, and D: is little more than a simple hack-and-slash "Replace I4 with emotor" job?


Good luck GM. You're gonna need it with this one.
Cmon. Give credit where credit is due.

$19k for 82 miles of range is VERY good. Performance is great too, especially in comparison to other EVs.

We all know you have a vendetta against hybrids and EVs but whether you would buy it or not, progress is progress.

It also doesn't appear to be a "hack and slash" job at all...the body and related things haven't changed but the base model Spark is about as cheap as it gets. 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic, anemic, el cheapo everywhere.

That face is something only a mother could love though.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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I just brought my wife up to show her the car it may be our next ride. I think it's perfect. She would want to flat black it with black wheels and tint, but can't beat the mileage. I mean come on 82 miles a day me and her together don't do that much.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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82 miles is the "estimate", with a typical american driver in a metro area. With the Volt and Leaf most enthusiasts are reporting more range than what the epa is stating for these cars.

The same is true for their new car window sticker ratings, and I don't think I've owned a car or truck yet that didn't do 20% or better than the window sticker.

Oh, and don't forget that EV's have no problem getting off the line with the all that torque. And snappy throttle response quite literally almost at the speed of light. (No really, electrons have nearly 0 mass and thus the biggest thing slowing them down is the resistance of the circuit they travel in.)
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Unread 07-19-2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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Stage 3 charger will charge in 20 minutes too. Crazy.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 11:30 PM   #7
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Cmon. Give credit where credit is due.
It's not likely to leave you stranded with broken parts I suppose.

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$19k for 82 miles of range is VERY good.
For an EV I suppose. Of course that same 19 grand will buy the ICE version and I don't know a single person who would spring for the electric one when it will only barely cover getting them to work and back home before it stops going.

Also, it isn't $19K. It's actually a $30K car, and if you forget to claim the federal tax incentives you're paying quite a chunk for a basic little hatchback. Ouch.

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Performance is great too, especially in comparison to other EVs.
It's because they kept the 4-pot's transmission. It lets them use a smaller E-motor, which draws less power, and it lets them multiply the torque considerably. I wouldn't be surprised if it let them fit a smaller battery than they would have normally, as well.

It's always boggled my mind that most EVs use at most 2 speed boxes, with many just flat out not using one at all, when gearboxes would offer EVs the same benefits they do ICE cars. A bespoke EV using a small motor, a six speed gearbox and the right aerodynamics might very well be able to squeeze a real world 200 miles or so out of a reasonably small battery pack.


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We all know you have a vendetta against hybrids
I don't have a vendetta against hybrids that are simply sold as fuel efficient cars, even if I'd never personally buy one. What grinds my gears about hybrids is how people keep saying they're 'green' and trying to pressure me into buying one on that basis. That's why I can't stand hybrids. Well, that, and they're all terrible to drive, but that's a dealbreaker for most sedans regardless of how they get their forward momentum.

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and EVs
I have this because people keep prattering on and getting their knickers in a twist over EVs while ignoring the fact that they simply do not work in the real world for the vast majority of car buyers. They're niche products that still have major issues that need correcting before they're deserving of the praise, yet it's all I ever hear whenever one is mentioned. It's as if they're all shipped in from Heaven on a golden car hauler...and if you even think about mentioning their many flaws people look down at you like you're a cross between Stalin, Hitler and Skeletor.

That's why I have a vendetta against EVs. They work ok if you live in a suburb, commute into downtown, and don't have any other trips on the schedule. Anywhere else and you're heavily restricted by the battery's range, assuming you can even get to work and back on a charge in the first place. Yet whenever anyone mentions it they're practically tarred and feathered on the spot...


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It also doesn't appear to be a "hack and slash" job at all
They ripped the four cylinder out of a Spark, stuffed an E-motor into the same place, upgraded the axles, and stuffed a battery pack in it. How's that not a hack and slash job? If it works it works, but it's not exactly engineering an EV from scratch, and it's not optimized to squeeze every inch it can from every watt in the battery by any stretch.

They'd probably be able to nearly double the range from the same powertrain if it was in a bespoke unibody.

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At least we agree on one thing
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 07-19-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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It'd be absurd to not think that the Spark was designed from day one to be both a gasser and an EV. The gasser, being traditional, just made it out the door a few months earlier.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kenny McCormick View Post
I don't have a vendetta against hybrids that are simply sold as fuel efficient cars, even if I'd never personally buy one. What grinds my gears about hybrids is how people keep saying they're 'green' and trying to pressure me into buying one on that basis. That's why I can't stand hybrids.
This is the reason why I went for the plain clothes hybrid when I needed a cheap car with great FE. I also don't advertise that I'm driving a Hybrid or being "Green" (Aside from how amazed I am at the FE numbers..) I even removed the two Hybrid related decals on the car within the first week.

Gasoline is a fungible commodity. That means that if you don't use it then someone else is going to. Period. Read this over twice if you'd like. Print it out and tape it to to the nearest Prius for effect.

Buying a Hybrid is not better for the earth. In fact, keeping your old vehicle on the road is far better for the earth than buying any new car.

I am a huge proponent of EV and hydrogen technology because they make sense to me; not at all for any sort of "Green" socio-consumer mentality. I also use and greatly enjoy LED lighting in my home, and again it just makes sense to me and has nothing to do with advertising that I'm helping the earth or anything silly like that.

It's all marketing. Green sells cheap cars. And while it remains profitable to keep selling them, the actual highly efficient modes of transport aren't going to developed further until they need to be.

If anyone would like a demonstration of a truly efficient vehicle available today I can pull out my e-bike and remove the governor. 55mph capable if you have the guts for it, light enough that I carry it up a flight of stairs daily, and over 500mpg equivalent to boot. And that's just a simple bike built with used parts - imagine what's possible with some more engineering!

Just my
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Unread 07-22-2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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keeping your old vehicle on the road is far better for the earth than buying any new car.
This. ****ing this.

I dont think very many people think beyond the lifespan of the car. What happens when your Prius is finally dead at the end of its life and the useless waste needs to be dealt with? Yeah, remember those batteries you were bragging about? And this is your 2nd pack as well, ever thought about where the original one went?

So, yeah, you're dead on there. It's much better to hang on to an old car, or buy something used for that matter, than it is to bring a new car into the mix.
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