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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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    "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

    Damn DF, thanks for making sneeze Pepsi....

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    It doesn't matter. The thing that matters is what the customers want to buy. And hybrids and electrics have not taken off around the world the way some ppl are fantasizing.

    I think we have one member here who owns a Volt. Any others? Who has a hybrid or full electric? Come on, talk is cheap, why isn't anyone putting their money down?

    In Europe where fuel has been historically high, diesel is the frugal-minded person's power of choice. Not electric or hybrid.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    One small example... LaCrosse sales are down, aren't they? Why didn't sales go up if people really wanted e-Assist? LaCrosse is a beautiful car that is not long in the market.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    One small example... LaCrosse sales are down, aren't they? Why didn't sales go up if people really wanted e-Assist? LaCrosse is a beautiful car that is not long in the market.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    They lack one problem at the moment-price. Watch the price drop, and watch them sell. If I get get a Volt for the price of a well loaded Cruze-I'd be all over it. The Tech simply needs to get out there....

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    Prius sells quite well..they are ubiquitous. Pure electrics are still in their early adopter phase, will be interesting to see how they do over time.

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    It won't change things, because it can't change things.

    Why not? If we had that thought process, things would never change.

    EVs are not going to take over the world-they are just going to be a bigger part of the market, that's all. Gas will always be an option, the question is more one price...

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    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    One small example... LaCrosse sales are down, aren't they? Why didn't sales go up if people really wanted e-Assist? LaCrosse is a beautiful car that is not long in the market.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    They lack one problem at the moment-price. Watch the price drop, and watch them sell. If I get get a Volt for the price of a well loaded Cruze-I'd be all over it. The Tech simply needs to get out there....

    That's just the most immediate problem.

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    Prius sells quite well..they are ubiquitous. Pure electrics are still in their early adopter phase, will be interesting to see how they do over time.

    I would assume pretty much the same....

    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    One small example... LaCrosse sales are down, aren't they? Why didn't sales go up if people really wanted e-Assist? LaCrosse is a beautiful car that is not long in the market.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    They lack one problem at the moment-price. Watch the price drop, and watch them sell. If I get get a Volt for the price of a well loaded Cruze-I'd be all over it. The Tech simply needs to get out there....

    That's just the most immediate problem.

    Can I safely assume the gas station idea here?

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    It won't change things, because it can't change things.

    Why not? If we had that thought process, things would never change.

    EVs are not going to take over the world-they are just going to be a bigger part of the market, that's all. Gas will always be an option, the question is more one price...

    They can't change things because of several things.

    1) All electric cars combined make no measurable difference in our oil consumption, and they can't because even if sales could rise to that of a successful midsize they only enter service one model year at a time. The shift won't be significant for many, many years.

    2) If production of EVs ever rises to a level that makes a real impact - then our grid can't handle it.

    3) There is very little indication that the tech will work in applications beyond smallish cars, we don't function without trucks.

    4) Range is inadequate

    5) Battery supply is inadequate (as is the supply of the required materials)

    * The exception is the Volt (or rather its technology and approach - which should be scaleable)

    Prius sells quite well..they are ubiquitous. Pure electrics are still in their early adopter phase, will be interesting to see how they do over time.

    I would assume pretty much the same....

    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    One small example... LaCrosse sales are down, aren't they? Why didn't sales go up if people really wanted e-Assist? LaCrosse is a beautiful car that is not long in the market.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    They lack one problem at the moment-price. Watch the price drop, and watch them sell. If I get get a Volt for the price of a well loaded Cruze-I'd be all over it. The Tech simply needs to get out there....

    That's just the most immediate problem.

    Can I safely assume the gas station idea here?

    Sort of.

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    The short version is that by the time that EVs could make a real difference, it will be far too late to matter.

    By themselves that is.

    I do see them as a near- ideal option in a place like LA....

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    But imagine this, if you will.

    The Volt system sort of in reverse.

    On a full-sized pickup E-assist style.

    The gains could be quite impressive.

    And using 4wd could be really something.

    Now extrapolate that to a large percentage of full-size pickup production in this country.

    That sort of application is where I see electric doing the most good.

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    Whoever marked me down... SHOW ME THE SALES FIGURES. Where are all these electrified cars being sold? To whom? This is not something I'm making up, this lack of customers. Anyone can find out for themselves if they read.

    Volt and Leaf sales are pathetic... I fail to see where more of this kind of car on the market will change things.

    (Deep Sigh)

    Pathetic.. really?!

    Let's take a look at both shall we..

    Nissan Leaf sales:

    10,369 (total sales since December 2010 launch)

    676 Leafs sold in January 2012

    With the Leaf, it currently is sold in 29 states with nationwide sales beginning later this year. That's up from the five states when it was launched in December 2010 ( California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee).

    But also there was this little thing in march that happened in Japan; the earthquake and tsunami. That knocked out production of the Nissan Leaf for a few months and caused many headaches for the company and people who reserved them. Nissan missed their goal of building of 50,000 Leafs for the world market. But they seemed happy with selling 20,000 worldwide.

    Chevroler Volt sales:

    8,600 (Vehicles sold since launch)

    603 Volts sold in January

    Ah the Volt, where do we begin. Like the Leaf, it was sold in limited markets, before being rolled out in 2011.

    But the Volt suffered many problems. The plant was shut down for a few weeks in the summer to make room for the Malibu & new Impala. And then, there was the was the whole Battery fire incident. Plus, the plant has been idling up until last week or so

    And I'll throw in the high price tag as being a factor and GM's outrageous sales projections (10,000 Volts in 2011, 45,000 in 2012)

    Now to some, those numbers seem poor and its time to call them a failure. To me, those numbers seem right. They're selling them to the people who can a. afford them and b. know they can live with one.

    *********************************************************

    Look, I like electrics. But I also know they're not the key to solving are oil problem. Automakers are trying to figure out what works; gas engines with new tech, diesels, hybrids, Natural Gas, EVs, etc.

    Electrics are just taking the spotlight for the moment. Like hydrogen vehicles, or Hybrids; it's the hot thing.

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    They can't change things because of several things.

    1) All electric cars combined make no measurable difference in our oil consumption, and they can't because even if sales could rise to that of a successful midsize they only enter service one model year at a time. The shift won't be significant for many, many years.

    2) If production of EVs ever rises to a level that makes a real impact - then our grid can't handle it.

    3) There is very little indication that the tech will work in applications beyond smallish cars, we don't function without trucks.

    4) Range is inadequate

    5) Battery supply is inadequate (as is the supply of the required materials)

    +1000

    Post of the month for putting it together correctly. Of course, many here will poo-poo it because somehow science will somehow save us... next year... or the year after that. But several of these problems, cannot be fixed... Unless a giant asteroid of copper crashes into Earth, we do not have the copper to upgrade our grid, even if we wanted to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_copper And aluminum is also in short supply, as well.

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    It doesn't matter. The thing that matters is what the customers want to buy. And hybrids and electrics have not taken off around the world the way some ppl are fantasizing.

    I think we have one member here who owns a Volt. Any others? Who has a hybrid or full electric? Come on, talk is cheap, why isn't anyone putting their money down?

    In Europe where fuel has been historically high, diesel is the frugal-minded person's power of choice. Not electric or hybrid.

    Toyota went in there with the Pruis and was charging 5-series pricing for that crap trap. It is unsurprising to me at all that the Germans took no notice. The only redeeming quality of the Pruis is its powertrain, the rest of the car is crap, handles like crap, drives like crap.

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    Wow I go to work and things go crazy here with the fear of fat people in over priced electric cars.

    The problem is here that too many think or expect electric cars to come out of the box cheap and able to do anything a gas car can do. The fact is little was invested into much of this since the Detroit or Baker Electic.

    I can name cars that were not cheaper than the transportation they replaced, They were not more durible than the transportation they replaced. They had an even more limited range than the transprotation they replaced. They often left their owners standed along the road out of energy or broke down.Many claimed they would never replace the horse but a few people bought them and more people invested in them to the point that they finally became reliable and cheaper.

    The Electric car is not a over night deal and it will take time for cheaper prices and longer ranges. This whole thing needs more time and investment and it requires a market to do this. The few buyers that are willing to bite the limited range and high cost bullet will provide the market that will lead to improvments. This is not anything different than the first gas powered auto buyers. If they had not paid the high prices and delt with the issues of the first cars we still would be on horses.

    Things will not change over night and electric cars will not be a dominate car for a good while. This whole deal is in flux and will evolve as time goes on. We will see more E assist like hybrids and more of the electric technology adapted to the gas powered cars.

    As for the Volt it is the only real electric for the average buyer. Yes there are a few who can live with a all electric but they are few. The only hold up on the Volt for the most part is price and it will come done in time. As they improve the Volt the money invested will also help imporve electric motors and batteries for full electrics.

    As with any new technology it will get better and cheaper as time goes on. Much is owed to those who are willing to pay more for th new technology in the early years to create these markets.

    It was the first computer buyers who help bring in a change on how we live today with cheaper and better computers. Same for Cell phones and many other products we have today.

    So it is important to understand development and the the time it will take for this market to evolve. We must keep this in perspective to understand where this is all going. The short and long of this is electrics will take more time to improve and get cheaper and gas engines will be around for most of our lives and not fully fade away.

    As for the other fuels there are issues with each and most have to do with refueling. Few of us are willing to take the time or the effort it takes to fill with Hydrogen or even propane. The fact everyone has an electric outlet in their home is why electric has a open door to all people.

    I even put a 220 Outlet near where I part in my new garage that I just built as some day it may need to be used to plug a car in. Till then the welder or plasma cutter will work well with it.

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    Dare I say I agree with both of you (Camino &hyper) Some good valid points there.

    All I can say at this point is that I hope the EV improvements come quickly......

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    The fact is little was invested into much of this since the Detroit or Baker Electic.

    Slurp! Mmmm... Flavor-Aid. I can tell them little was invested since the Baker Electric... even when OcnBlu has posted in another thread the Electrovair II. Sorry, you are full of it, Hyper. There has been billions invested since the Baker Electric... so you think companies like Baker Electric and Detroit Electric didn't invest large sums to try to extend their businesses? GM and Studebaker also had large slices of the electric pie, which I'm sure they would have liked to preserve. Do you think General Electric spent nothing to get all these Deisel Electric trains? GM built the Electrovair I, Electrovair II, an Electric Greenbriar, and a Electrovan, the Urban Electric Car, the 512 series, Electrovette, Sunraycer, EV-1, S-10 Electric. Ford made the Ranger EV. AMC worked on a Lithium-based battery in 1967 and had a NiCd electric '69 Rambler wagon, the Amitron, the Electron. The '50 Henney Kilowatt. The 1980 ComutaCar. Then there are GEM and Zap, who have been been building cars for about 20 years each. Then there is all the forklift and golf cart companies. All the laptop and cellular phone battery research which scales up... Oh... and the Lunar Rover. You're right... little money or effort was put into electric cars since the Baker... yeah.

    The Electric car is not a over night deal and it will take time for cheaper prices and longer ranges. This whole thing needs more time and investment and it requires a market to do this. The few buyers that are willing to bite the limited range and high cost bullet will provide the market that will lead to improvments. This is not anything different than the first gas powered auto buyers. If they had not paid the high prices and delt with the issues of the first cars we still would be on horses.

    Horses are stubborn and require space and maintenance. Autos surpassed the horse for economics, in reliability and in ease of maintenance in less than 10 years. Electrics have been around for almost 120 years of drivetrain and battery advancements.

    As they improve the Volt the money invested will also help imporve electric motors and batteries for full electrics.

    ----

    As with any new technology it will get better and cheaper as time goes on. Much is owed to those who are willing to pay more for th new technology in the early years to create these markets.

    Sure... to the tune of 5-15% improvement per decade, its going to be a slow trip.

    Using this logic, regular gasoline powered cars should get cheaper. They don't.

    As for the other fuels there are issues with each and most have to do with refueling. Few of us are willing to take the time or the effort it takes to fill with Hydrogen or even propane. The fact everyone has an electric outlet in their home is why electric has a open door to all people.

    Effort? It takes about twice as long to fuel with CNG as gasoline. BFD.

    Hydrogen does have some issues filling, storage and combustion... but with CNG being created at every landfill and working as a retrofit on every gasoline engine ever made, I don't see why anyone invests in hydrogen.

    I even put a 220 Outlet near where I part in my new garage that I just built as some day it may need to be used to plug a car in. Till then the welder or plasma cutter will work well with it.

    Great. Let me know when you put a 1000 Amp outlet in so that you can refill at something closer to the rate of the CNG.

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    You are going to argue a point on Horses here and try to make a point with the Electrovair II LOL! You have got to better than that.

    I stand by my post..

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    This is not a horses vs. cars situation.

    And it will never be.

    Until the fuel cell makes it so.

    Full electrics cannot become factor until then.

    Panic brings electrics into fashion from time to time, but they have no staying power without the fuel cell.

    Batteries are never going to cut it.

    Electrics are a dead-end until they can generate their own power on-board.

    Think of the Volt as proto-fuel cell, and you will get where I stand on this.

    We need simpler, more immediate, solutions.

    Edited by Camino LS6

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    Battery development is not at a standstill. Electric motor development is not at a stand still.

    You guys want range? The 640hp AWD electric mini-cooper has a range of 200 - 250 miles. Or... roughly Pittsburgh to D.C.

    If they made it just FWD *cough* sorry, if they made it just RWD and 320hp, and only increased the range to 350miles, that would still be a longer cruising range than I have on my Toronado or CR-V or my old CTS.

    I realize it is just a concept, but it is also proof of concept.

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    Another electric toy doesn't address the larger problems.

    These cars have to charge themselves before they will matter.

    Meanwhile, we need to move on to things we can do right now.

    If we could convert say 15% of our existing fleet to CNG, and another 15% to ethanol, we could buy decades of time for fuel cell development and not get caught with our pants down again.

    And ethanol is a renewable resource which could provide us with a domestic supply of fuel all on its own for an indefinite time.

    I prefer gaseous fuels, but both ethanol and CNG could get us off of oil right now if we decide to make it happen.

    I'd be far more charitable toward R&D on electrics and fuel cells if we were using what we have at hand to get the problem under control today.

    It's a sin that GM has built over 5 million FFVs and we have no fuel to use in them. That's where our immediate focus should be.

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