Jump to content
  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    SPIED: Chevy's smallest EV drops its CAMO!

    Sign in to follow this  

    Drew Dowdell - February 24, 2012 - CheersandGears.com

    Photo by Chris Doane Automotive, LLC - May not be used elsewhere without permission of photographer.

    The last time we saw a 2014 Spark EV prototype, the front end was covered in heavy camouflage and rear was held together with pop-rivets. Today, we've spied another Spark EV prototype with the production bodywork in place and almost NO camouflage.

    From our spy photos, we can see the Spark EV will get a different front end from its' gasoline brother. A new, smaller grille is in place, with filler panels that mimic the styling of the panels we find on the Chevy Volt. The Spark EV also has a new lower fascia and new styling around the fog lights.

    On the driver's side, front quarter panel, the door to access the charging port is clearly visible.

    The rear fascia on the Spark EV is also new, and looks to protrude from the car more than the bumper we find on the gasoline-powered Spark. This is likely to provide more room for the battery pack. It's also easy to see that this Spark is, of course, NOT sporting any tailpipes.

    Motivation for the Spark EV will come from a 114hp, permanent magnet electric motor, built at a GM plant in White Marsh Maryland. That motor will get its' juice from a lithium-ion pack manufactured by A123 Systems.

    GM will hope to have this all-electric Spark on sale sometime in the first half of 2013.

    Full size photo:

    Chevrolet Spark EV without camo

    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    When an all-electric, 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup that charges as fast as you can fill a gas version, has the same range, and the same payload/towing ability, equal 0-60 times, and a price tag that's on a par, then we can talk.

    Oil is on its way out to be sure, but electric may never be what supplants it. Certainly not if the best it can do is a glorified golf cart like the Spark EV or the Leaf.

    Now the Volt is another story...

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Accept that they exist?

    OK, fine.

    Accept that they are all there will be to choose from?

    Not on your life.

    Say nice things about them?

    Not likely.

    The future is not going to be an all electric future that soon. Gas will be with us for a while yet but the hybrid systems like GM and others that are being offered now are going to become more and more the standard driveline for most cars.

    You have a admin right now the goverment right now is putting in place a 50 Plus MPG average for the fleet and there is no way the cars of today can do that on gas alone. The companies are looking for anyway they can to keep power, performance and size and these hybird systems are the only key they have found do far.

    The more they can get those who what these golf carts to be able to afford and buy them will ease up space for those of us who what something more.

    I also see a goverment right now that has no interest in trying to keep the oil markets in check and if gas goes up so be it. The average joe out there is not willing to pay a ton for gas so they will seek out other means to save on their gas bill no matter if it is a full electric or hybrid.

    While cars like the Vette seem to be safe.... for now we .......are seeing even some of the best sports car makers in the world working on hybrids. It is not because they want to but because they have to.

    I bumped you back to a 0 for the -1 as you should be allowed to vent.

    Like it on along with the electrics we will also get smaller and smaller engines. I just saw a Ford 1.0 with something like 173 HP.

    To be honest I am hoping the Volt technology takes of and becomes more affordable as I see this car as a win win for both groups. There is so much more they can do with this kind of system.

    The fact is there is still many many years of oil but with increased demand and without a equal growing supply will just make it more and more expensive. No matter if we pump our own or not oil is a traded resource and supply and demand contols the cost. Demand is only going to get greater and supplies will not grow much.

    Edited by hyperv6

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    have you looked at some of what tesla makes? there 0 to 50s are below 5 seconds. their roadster is 3.7. payload and towing will be easy to figure out once the distance is figured out. and price tag isnt THAT far off. right now the reason they are more expensive is the ammount of money that was put in them. right now electric cars are random swings. but some of those swings have perked the ears of some. right now the charge time for some of these cars is around 4 hours. (which is actually less than i thought) but new battery technology is being worked all the time. with electric cars its not about the car industry improveing this technology they are taking technology that is being made by other companies and trying it out. there are entire companies devoted to longer lasting faster charging batteries and its only a matter of time before they have a 500 mile battery that charges in 3 min.

    • Upvote 1
    • Downvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    have you looked at some of what tesla makes? there 0 to 50s are below 5 seconds. their roadster is 3.7. payload and towing will be easy to figure out once the distance is figured out. and price tag isnt THAT far off. right now the reason they are more expensive is the ammount of money that was put in them. right now electric cars are random swings. but some of those swings have perked the ears of some. right now the charge time for some of these cars is around 4 hours. (which is actually less than i thought) but new battery technology is being worked all the time. with electric cars its not about the car industry improveing this technology they are taking technology that is being made by other companies and trying it out. there are entire companies devoted to longer lasting faster charging batteries and its only a matter of time before they have a 500 mile battery that charges in 3 min.

    I'm well aware of Tesla.

    As for taking the tech to the level of a 500 mile range on a 3 minute charge, there are two problems with that. Even if it is attained, no infrastructure of charging stations exists, and you begin to strain the grid when any significant number of cars move to electric.

    Unless a way is devised to generate the power on board the vehicle, the future of all electric cars looks quite finite.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    What we ought not to be doing is burning oil to generate electricity, and heating our houses directly with oil.

    Those two areas are far easier to change than the national vehicle fleet.

    And that fleet should be running on the widest possible range of fuels/energy .

    Yes, electric makes sense in some applications, but it will never be as broadly useful as gasoline has been.

    In fact, I hope that nothing ever becomes so universally depended upon as oil based fuels have been. That's a disaster as we should have learned by now.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    One big thing electric has on its side is the whole "don't become completely dependent on one thing", since it can be produced so many ways. But, for the foreseeable future, pure electric cars will have range & charge time issues, so they're not a universal solution yet. Though it occurs to me, what if an electric essentially had like 5 batteries that were charged separately? You pull in, and an array of 5 (or whatever number) chargers all worked at once...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    i LOVE my gas guzzleing 18 mpg intrepid.

    Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but 18mpg out of an Intrepid? I somehow find that number hard to believe. My Challenger always averaged about 24 to 25mpg mixed and it was a heavier car with rather broad-shouldered build.

    With regards to the rest of your post, I'll say that I understand where Camino is coming from. Take this post for example:

    When an all-electric, 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup that charges as fast as you can fill a gas version, has the same range, and the same payload/towing ability, equal 0-60 times, and a price tag that's on a par, then we can talk.

    Camino is someone who actually uses a heavy-duty pickup for work, so see it from his perspective. A purpose-built workhorse like a Silverado or Ram 2500 truck can reliably stand up to the constant abuse of towing and hauling over any sort of terrain, be it asphalt or some rutted out washboard of a trail. Electric cars are fairly delicate devices of transport and somehow I don't think a small truck packed full of laptop batteries can withstand the same sort of punishment I just described.

    Could one eventually? Sure, why not. But gas-powered pickups were tough as an old pair of boots from day one. It's going to take quite a bit of effort and time to make an all-electric, battery-powered pickup match the same effort of ruggedness that its conventionally-powered counterparts offer.

    However, I will admit that there's one advantage an electric-pickup could have over a gas or diesel-powered one and it's that old golden egg of "max torque at zero revs." That simply won't be enough, though.

    What design might prove to be a good starting point then? What could power our trucks and cars of tomorrow? Well, it doesn't involve 50 tons of batteries that take the rest of your life to charge. Instead of describing it, I'll just leave you with the following video.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4AUurBnLbJw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SPOILER ALERT: It involves hydrogen-derived electric power.

    I also feel the need to add that exclusively battery-powered cars like the upcoming Chevy Spark EV and the Nissan Leaf have their place in tomorrow’s automotive world.

    First, we must face the ugly truth about them — even with the best battery technology we have today, these things will never be an honest match for a gasoline-powered car. The range simply is far too limited and the recharging times far too long so, yes, that spells unlimited inconvenience for long-distance drivers, especially people like myself who live in a rural area and live miles away from any extended family.

    So what role would they play? That’s an easy question to answer. These battery-powered electric cars would be sold as city runabouts, marketed mainly to folks who live in big urban areas and their very closely-knit suburbs. People that have no idea what a country road really looks like or what a long trip or commute really feels like. With a maximum range of 100 miles, these would be cars built for people who drive to work 15 to 30 miles in one direction and only leave the house otherwise to run 10 to 20 miles to a supermarket or shopping mall.

    In order for these cars to secure their place in the auto world of the future, automakers should instead focus on making them much cheaper to buy than what you can today and not bothering so much with chasing the range rabbit down its big, black hole. As cars like the Honda FCX Clarity show, we already know how to make electric vehicles work, we just have to add to — not totally rebuild — our current infrastructure. It’s really that simple.

    Edited by black-knight

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    now it may take a decade or two but i see electric becoming at least the majority in the future. and beyond that a thing of the past. is it sad to see our loud friends go? yea but things come and go. its just a matter of how soon you adapt.

    Its not a matter of how soon you adapt. Most electrics are cars that have been impossible to nearly impossible for me to get into, let alone drive. [Note: I have not actually sat in a Volt yet, but I suspect it will be tight.] Unless the electrics lead to a resurgence of REAL fullsize cars, I'm going to be forced to drive larger trucks... and I'm skeptical about any all electric trucks...

    And with the average American BMI soaring into the stratosphere, small cars and fat Americans are not a good combo.

    have you looked at some of what tesla makes? there 0 to 50s are below 5 seconds. their roadster is 3.7. payload and towing will be easy to figure out once the distance is figured out. and price tag isnt THAT far off.

    there are entire companies devoted to longer lasting faster charging batteries and its only a matter of time before they have a 500 mile battery that charges in 3 min.

    We are all aware of Tesla and so far is way expensive and bordering on vaporware.

    500 mile battery that charges in 3 min? You would have a better chance hoping for Mr. Fusion. Physics aren't going to allow for such a refill for at least a century, unless the actual battery pack is swapped... which IS a technology/business model that has been investigated.

    Don't blindly trusty science to fix this. We don't have a cure for cancer, we don't live forever, we don't have cheap flying cars/rocket packs and we don't have virtually instant recharging batteries because some problems are HARD and will thwart us for a long time.

    We will have near immortality due to nanobots correcting the genetic errors in our bodies and Mr. Fusion before we have a 500 mile battery pack that recharges in 3 minutes because the latter problem runs into severe physic limitations and we have a finite number of chemical compounds to throw at the problem.

    It makes not a lick of sense to me that we export so much petroleum.

    It does to me. Many of the foreign markets are selling until the walls are bare... and the 1% in the US that own all the oil reserves know this. Why sell oil now at $110 a barrel when you can outlast the competition and sell oil for $1100 a barrel in 2040? For now, just sell the minmum to keep the US 1% up to their necks in coke, prostitutes and fast cars.

    Plus, for all we know, that same 1% own (and have buried) all the patents on the techniques needed to turn water into synthetic gasoline for pennies a gallon.

    One big thing electric has on its side is the whole "don't become completely dependent on one thing", since it can be produced so many ways. But, for the foreseeable future, pure electric cars will have range & charge time issues, so they're not a universal solution yet. Though it occurs to me, what if an electric essentially had like 5 batteries that were charged separately? You pull in, and an array of 5 (or whatever number) chargers all worked at once...

    Wouldn't work... in general. Its pretty easy to make a big charger, but the chokepoint is the heat generated in the batteries. Assuming you can have a temp sensor for each battery, you could charge each battery at its fastest, limited by the individual battery temperature, but this would likely only save less than ten percent in time. It would be great from a battery equalization point of view... but the next problem is the number of batteries... Tesla uses 6831 cells... that would require 6831 chargers. Hope you have 1.21 gigawatt service.

    Of course, heat is the number one reason I don't foresee fullmoon97's 500 mile battery pack recharging in 3 minutes, but its not just inside the battery pack... its the entire circuit. I suppose we can do some rough math... Tesla claims a battery-to-wheel efficiency of 17.7kWh/100 mi. Ignoring charging losses, that is 88.5kWh that needs to be stuffed into a battery... in 3 minutes... 1770kW... 1.77 MW... This is the amount of power an electric locomotive generates at peak. This would vaporize solid 4/0 AWG wire... I can't spec out the size wire required, but it would be at least a foot thick. Your house has 200 Amp service (4/0 AWG)? Well, to charge a 500 mile battery in 3 minutes, you need 8045 Amp (at 220V) service. You would need to build a nuclear power plant for each 250 cars concurrently being charged.

    Edited by SAmadei

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The performance is not a issue and with most alterinitives the range issue and refil or recharge time is an issue. Even on like the Chevy Fuel Cell Car I drove thar performace was fine and up to waht we have today. It had better range vs an electric. But it would take nearly 30 mins to fill. The goverment and few companies have even made an attempt to provide more places to fill them and why should they if they have few customers.

    Until the range issue is up to 300 plus miles and recharge times down do less than a few mins the electric cars will always be at a disadvantage.

    As fro not makeing sense on the exports you have to understand that oil in the 70's became a globally traded commodity. Companies now trade and sell oil in global market governed by supply and demand. In the past it provided more money for our companies at a still low price. Now that the rest of the world is moving out of the third world status it the demand has gone up as well as the price and supplies get tighter.

    Places like Saudia Arabia can just step up production to lower prices that is if they want too. Hence why we try to stay on their good side. Iran id like that for China and Russia. That is one issue why China and Russia do not want anyone one to stop Iran from selling oil. Also if we stopped them the Chinese and Russians will just buy more from where we get it and drive prices up more.

    It is not really possible to just stop exporting oil with the way it is and even if we did the market value would still be subject to the global price.

    Edited by hyperv6

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The problem with electric cars isn't so much in their limitations and shortcomings, the real problem is the perception that they are panacea.

    They are most definitely not.

    Meanwhile, real, practical alternatives are being stifled by the very government that proclaims their necessity and , in some cases, subsidizes them. The EPA throws unnecessary roadblocks in the way of expanding the use of (and creating the market for) diesel, propane, CNG, and ethanol by clinging to outdated and restrictive testing requirements like some sort of sacred text.

    Diversity of energy supply is the answer we need, and our own "leaders" are the reason we don't already have it.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Oh, and one more thing, any "solution" that doesn't make possible the conversion of our existing national fleet is no solution at all. If we want to change things, a push to convert the cars we have now is a requirement.

    We have done nothing to facilitate this.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Camino is right about the EPA and its rules. Of course, the best answer would be to get Congress to have these rules rescinded, but they need to be bought off first. Worse yet, I was reading in the last few days that natural gas is cheaper now than it was 5 years ago and that there are plans (by several companies) to export it to other countries to make more $$$ since natural gas prices are a lot higher elsewhere than here in the USA.

    As for the EVs on the market now or within the next 24 months, I have two questions. Will they work in Detroit or Minneapolis in a harsh winter? And how fast are we going to upgrade (and possibly replace parts of) our electrical infrastructure? The grid in some places are 50 years old or more and it is in poor shape as we speak. No reason to put electric cars charging to a grid that dates from the Eisenhower administration.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    And with the average American BMI soaring into the stratosphere, small cars and fat Americans are not a good combo.

    Obesity is a national epidemic...the proliferation of fast food and poor diets are a major quality of life issue that needs to be addressed, but that's a topic for another forum...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    i LOVE my gas guzzleing 18 mpg intrepid.

    Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but 18mpg out of an Intrepid? I somehow find that number hard to believe. My Challenger always averaged about 24 to 25mpg mixed and it was a heavier car with rather broad-shouldered build.

    im gonna answer this then im done. your challenger is a 2010 2011 im guessing something in there. my intrepid is a 1997. do you reaize the vast improvements that have been made in fuel mileage in that amount of time? i could care less if u find it hard to believe but my car is old and has issues. i love it to death but i could care less about the mileage it gets because i know its past.

    Edited by fullmoon97

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    im gonna answer this then im done. your challenger is a 2010 2011 im guessing something in there. my intrepid is a 1997. do you reaize the vast improvements that have been made in fuel mileage in that amount of time? i could care less if u find it hard to believe but my car is old and has issues. i love it to death but i could care less about the mileage it gets because i know its past.

    Uh, yikes? No need to bare your fangs, man. I wasn’t posting that as an insult or anything, just as an observation.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Don't care... which is the whole point about electrics! You don't care where the electricity is coming from as long as you're getting it. You like to &#036;h&#33; all over the Volt and Leaf and even the eAssist Lacrosse for using electricity. So the source of the electric doesn't seem to matter to you. As the technology continues to improve, battery range will get you further. In the meantime there are vehicles like the Volt to mitigate that problem. Electric is the power of the fastest land based vehicles on earth that move through the force of their wheels.

    So no, I don't care where the power is from. The point is I'm running at 125mph under electric propulsion which is faster than ANY of the vehicles you have owned can go. IF by chance you did own one that could reach 125mph... in an hour I'll be in the 150mph zone.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Electric trains are practical. They stay on track. I posted an interesting GM video about the 1966 Electrovair II, which has similar range to today's "state of the art" full electric cars. I don't see any leap in range.

    I've said the Volt is the best electrified car, but it is not worth twice the price of a Cruze. And with diesel coming, the Cruze will continue to be a much more attractive, useful car.

    We subscribe to Ward's at work. We just got their "10 Best Engines" issue. LaCrosse eAssist is not on the list... why? They go to the trouble of explaining why, their article states the system is barely more efficient than the base 2.4L, but it costs $2k more. They also lay out why the Volt didn't make the list, but I did not take the time to read that part. I should bring the magazine home and read the whole article. They DO like the Volt, but something held them back from adding it.

    ??? Not that it matters a stitch, but I did have my 2000 GTI to 135 mph. And I'm sure my '86 Camaro would have at least matched that figure, but I only got to 110 before I saw the patrol car. An electric train at 150 mph on a track is under very controlled conditions, more controlled than any roadgoing vehicle. Please do not make this personal, Drew.

    Edited by ocnblu

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Electric trains are practical. They stay on track. I posted an interesting GM video about the 1966 Electrovair II, which has similar range to today's "state of the art" full electric cars. I don't see any leap in range.

    I've said the Volt is the best electrified car, but it is not worth twice the price of a Cruze. And with diesel coming, the Cruze will continue to be a much more attractive, useful car.

    We subscribe to Ward's at work. We just got their "10 Best Engines" issue. LaCrosse eAssist is not on the list... why? They go to the trouble of explaining why, their article states the system is barely more efficient than the base 2.4L, but it costs $2k more. They also lay out why the Volt didn't make the list, but I did not take the time to read that part. I should bring the magazine home and read the whole article. They DO like the Volt, but something held them back from adding it.

    "barely better than the base 2.4" isn't at all correct. The base 2.4 in the Lacrosse was barely able to eek out 30mpg highway and got an abysmal 19 in the city. You had to work that engine hard to wheel around the weight of the Lacrosse. I did 36mpg highway / 27 mpg city in the eAssist Lacrosse. Now, some of the eAssist increase in mileage does come from an improved 6-speed transmission, but not that much.

    The 2.4 is aging. I wouldn't expect it in any form to be on the Wards 10 best anymore. Watch the 2.5 though.

    If there is anything holding them back on the Volt it is the gasoline engine. It is an old technology family zero 4-cylinder that is tuned to run on premium. As advanced as the rest of the Volt power train is, the 4-cylinder in there is about as old-school as GM has on the shelf right now.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...