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    Drew Dowdell

    SPIED: Chevy's smallest EV drops its CAMO!

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    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

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    Oh but it does matter where the juice comes from - just saying.

    And the Volt?

    It's the only electric car that makes any sense.

    Simply untrue. Even the Leaf/FocusEV/SparkEVmakes sense for certain people.

    I posted this article on Friday from the Acela train to DC. The guy in the booth next to me and I were talking about electric cars. He's on a wait list for a Leaf. He lives in D.C. and takes the metro for most things. If he goes long distance it is normally by train or by car. He only needs a car for the occational trips out to the suburbs. His wife has a crossover for hauling the kids around. He is trading in a Jetta for the Leaf and it seems to make a lot of sense for his needs. No need for the Volt because he doesn't need the range in his second car.

    Even my Albert could make the Leaf work as his primary car if he wasn't so insistent that he needs AWD. We would still need something for distance runs, but for his run to work, he would have 85 miles of range left over at the end of the day.

    Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for everyone.

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    Drew, your above post shows that an electric car is still only practical as a second car for short trips. Who has money for two cars? I want something that can operate in any condition I need it for...

    As far as the LaCrosse goes, I am simply relaying what Ward's said in their article.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    Oh but it does matter where the juice comes from - just saying.

    And the Volt?

    It's the only electric car that makes any sense.

    Simply untrue. Even the Leaf/FocusEV/SparkEVmakes sense for certain people.

    I posted this article on Friday from the Acela train to DC. The guy in the booth next to me and I were talking about electric cars. He's on a wait list for a Leaf. He lives in D.C. and takes the metro for most things. If he goes long distance it is normally by train or by car. He only needs a car for the occational trips out to the suburbs. His wife has a crossover for hauling the kids around. He is trading in a Jetta for the Leaf and it seems to make a lot of sense for his needs. No need for the Volt because he doesn't need the range in his second car.

    Even my Albert could make the Leaf work as his primary car if he wasn't so insistent that he needs AWD. We would still need something for distance runs, but for his run to work, he would have 85 miles of range left over at the end of the day.

    Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for everyone.

    Just because it "works" for some people in their usual routine, doesn't mean it makes sense when that routine changes, or that it makes sense as an engineering direction. Only the Volt covers the bases and can claim to really be a fully-capable car.

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    Situations change all the time. The cts fit my daily routine until it didn't. Suddenly I needed a truck so I bought the Avalanche. Then my financial situation changed and I had to sell the avalanche and end the CTS lease and drive a $750 Buick Wagon that I borrowed. Then I went with no car for a while and just used Alberts CRV and the bus.

    You don't buy a car today based on what you think you might need in 5 years. Lots of families are 2 vehicle families, thus the leaf or focusEV or SparkEV do make sense.

    • Upvote 2

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    Point is, if one must have a bit of humming in their vehicle, a Volt is the only car of its kind that would not have to be sold if one moved to the country by choice or circumstance.

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    Those aren't the sort of changes I was talking about. How about a sudden illness that requires just a few more miles of range to visit your spouse in the hospital?

    How will you feel about that Spark EV, or that Leaf then?

    A thousand scenarios like that can , and will, occur.

    All current electric cars (except the Volt) are toys to one degree or another. As all-around cars they do not yet measure-up.

    That's the simple truth.

    Edited by Camino LS6

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    If you're more than 100 miles round trip from a hospital, you're probably not buying a leaf in the first place.

    You can come up with all of the strawmen you want, I'll still be here to set them on fire.

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    C'mon Drew, you know better than that. You know that the owners of these cars will find themselves in circumstances where their full-electric car lets them down due to range. It will happen.

    You also know that my point remains valid that these cars do not yet measure-up.

    Wanting these cars to be the solution does not make it so.

    Edited by Camino LS6

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    100 miles round trip? Is that winter, spring, summer, or fall? Uphill in either direction? Highway, suburban, or urban? Jeez, so many variables to contend with. Range anxiety is real and justified when you are out there on your own.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    100 miles round trip? Is that winter, spring, summer, or fall? Uphill in either direction? Highway, suburban, or urban? Jeez, so many variables to contend with. Range anxiety is real and justified when you are out there on your own.

    My normal daily commute round trip is maybe 25 miles, but I like the predictability of approx 350 mile range and an abundant # of gas stations around..

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    From the last bit of my post from last night:

    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.

    That's the key to getting more electric, battery-only cars out there.

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    "I say Perseus old boy, do you have you heard about that new horseless carriage?"

    "Why yes Batholomew , I hear it runs on some unheard of principle called internal combustion. They said it will replace the horse as mainstream transportation."

    "Internal combustion you say? In what manner does it operate?"

    "Well good sir, it is said that a machine used to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. This "internal combustion engine" is an engine in which the combustion of a petroleum-based fuel known as gasoline occurs with oxygen. the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine. This force is applied typically to what are being called pistons. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy."

    "And this shall replace the horse as humankind's preferred mode of transportation?"

    "Why yes, so it is being touted."

    "Poppycock. What a preposterous idea!"

    Hmm...yes, quite. Let us engage in laughter.

    "Splendid idea old boy."

    post-1757-0-42359400-1330303933.jpg

    • Upvote 3

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    And a miata is an unsuitable primary vehicle on a farm, and a GMC Sierra Denali is an unsuitable primary vehicle for the average NYC dweller. And a SMART is an unsuitable primary vehicle for Octomom, and a Suburban is an unsuitable vehicle for a middle aged female office worker to commute 50 miles each way in.....

    And yet, those vehicles are still built and sold.

    For some people, the leaf is a suitable vehicle. You complain, loudly, when there is the threat of someone taking a V8 out of production. You feel that such the removal of choice is a disease to be stomped out.

    Physician, heal thyself!

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    And a miata is an unsuitable primary vehicle on a farm, and a GMC Sierra Denali is an unsuitable primary vehicle for the average NYC dweller. And a SMART is an unsuitable primary vehicle for Octomom, and a Suburban is an unsuitable vehicle for a middle aged female office worker to commute 50 miles each way in.....

    And yet, those vehicles are still built and sold.

    For some people, the leaf is a suitable vehicle. You complain, loudly, when there is the threat of someone taking a V8 out of production. You feel that such the removal of choice is a disease to be stomped out.

    Physician, heal thyself!

    You misunderstand.

    I am not against anyone choosing to buy and drive one of the current crop of EVs - far from it. I am also not against the automakers developing the technology. I am merely pointing out the shortcomings of the cars (which are many). I am against putting all of our eggs in the electric basket and expecting any measurable results. It is a foolish way to go about things, and hasn't much of a chance of ever solving our energy problems.

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    Who, besides Tesla, has put all of their eggs in an electric basket? Not one single manufacturer has. The Spark EV will arrive about 18 months after the Cruze diesel. Ford is talking about 3 cylinder turbos to compliment the Focus EV in the lineup. The transit connect comes in standard, electric, and natural gas. The Sonic and Cruze are both getting upgraded 1.4t power plants.

    If there is a misunderstanding here, it's how you came up with this idea we are going all electric anytime soon.

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    Who, besides Tesla, has put all of their eggs in an electric basket? Not one single manufacturer has. The Spark EV will arrive about 18 months after the Cruze diesel. Ford is talking about 3 cylinder turbos to compliment the Focus EV in the lineup. The transit connect comes in standard, electric, and natural gas. The Sonic and Cruze are both getting upgraded 1.4t power plants.

    If there is a misunderstanding here, it's how you came up with this idea we are going all electric anytime soon.

    There are several misunderstandings here, as well as a number of assumptions.

    I'm not referring to a manufacturer when I say that we are putting all of our eggs in the electric basket. I'm talking about the perception among many that everything will be just fine once we move to all electric cars. There is a strong emphasis on this one road as our "magic bullet" moving into the future.

    It isn't.

    And it probably can't be.

    And I believe that it should not be.

    I also believe that micro-engines in micro-cars is not the answer.

    As I believe that tactics like CAFE are not the answer.

    Electric cars are a distraction when we should be taking steps that make a real difference in the here and now as well as the future.

    Some people fear change.

    I don't fear change, I fear mistakes.

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    You don't learn unless you make mistakes. Suppose you are right and EVs can't be developed beyond their current level. What harm is done? A few city dwellers drive their leafs around and eventually give them up once all the charging stations are removed.

    What I described above is a multi-prong approach. Diesels, 3 cylinder turbos, eAssist... It is getting to be far more diverse out there in engine technology than it has been in 7 decades. The only thing we're missing at this point (to my sadness) is steam vehicles.

    Eventually one will become (or remain) the dominant technology. Mistakes might be made, but we will learn from them and move on.

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    You don't learn unless you make mistakes. Suppose you are right and EVs can't be developed beyond their current level. What harm is done? A few city dwellers drive their leafs around and eventually give them up once all the charging stations are removed.

    What I described above is a multi-prong approach. Diesels, 3 cylinder turbos, eAssist... It is getting to be far more diverse out there in engine technology than it has been in 7 decades. The only thing we're missing at this point (to my sadness) is steam vehicles.

    Eventually one will become (or remain) the dominant technology. Mistakes might be made, but we will learn from them and move on.

    Good points all.

    However (and this is what vexes me), we are not addressing the problem head-on. What we need are substitutes (plural) for oil. Not only are we not taking that search seriously enough, but we are ignoring some excellent interim substitutes that could be implemented today, with current technology. Further, we are allowing artificial barriers to entrepreneurial solutions that should be springing-up all around us. Free the innovators that know how to use what's available now to make things better now.

    I am old enough to remember the gas lines of '73, and our progress since then has been piss-poor. So, my patience with pie-in-the-sky diddling with electric cars and waiting on fuel cells has grown a bit short.

    I want to see real steps taken, and taken now.

    Brazil has done it with ethanol.

    Australia is doing it with CNG.

    We have many resources and I want to see them all put to work.

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    Or to put it another way, provide me with an alternative fuel that I can use today and I'll immediately convert my Tahoe to run on it.

    That means an ethanol pump nearby, or better yet, a CNG pump.

    I'd love to stop burning foreign oil products today.

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    I'm not willing to say that we shouldn't pursue EVs just because Camino says so. I think at this point we keep all options open and be willing to admit that it might take a combination of these technologies to make it work. I see no reason that we need to pick just one.

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    I'm not willing to say that we shouldn't pursue EVs just because Camino says so. I think at this point we keep all options open and be willing to admit that it might take a combination of these technologies to make it work. I see no reason that we need to pick just one.

    I don't say so, and never have.

    I think it will take a combination of technologies to get the job done.

    I have always said so - several times in this thread, in fact.

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    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 $h! 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.

    Siding with this right here. I think people fail to see just how fast this is growing and changing. Wanna know what I know?

    Just drive thru Dearborn. Ford has embraced it with open arms. You'll be surprised....

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