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GM Slashes Price of Chevy Spark EV

Maker is the latest to try price cut to boost sluggish sales.

by on Apr.15, 2015

The Chevy Spark can launch to 60 in 8 sec.

General Motors is slashing the price of its slow-selling Chevrolet Spark battery-electric vehicle in a bid to boost demand.

It’s the latest in a string of price cuts by automakers struggling to build interest in plug-based vehicles, and the announcement comes just days after GM confirmed it will next month shut down production of its Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid due to lack of demand. It will re-launch production with the second-generation Volt that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.

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“Chevrolet is committed to making EV driving more accessible, affordable and fun” Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet Car and Crossover Marketing, said in a statement. “Spark EV customers will benefit from an impressive blend of technology, capability and low cost of ownership, now at an even more impressive price.”


Chevrolet Set to Unveil New Spark Next Month

New minicar set for deal debut in New York and Seoul.

by on Mar.09, 2015

Chevy hints the 2016 Spark will be sleeker, and more aerodynamic than the old minicar.

Chevrolet plans to take the wraps off the new 2016 Spark – twice, with a dual debut scheduled at the upcoming auto shows in New York and Seoul.

The Korean-made minicar has been defying recent trends that have seen sales of small passenger cars slump in light of the drop in fuel prices. Demand for the Chevrolet Spark surged 32% during the first two months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

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Though the 2016 Spark will retain its basic, tall hatchback shape, GM promises a “sleeker, more aerodynamic profile and a progressive take” on the outgoing model’s basic design cues. That fits into efforts to win over young urban buyers who want something small but not necessarily a basic econobox.


GM Planning 200-Mile Battery-Car

Vehicle would target start-up Tesla, as well as established competitors.

by on Sep.17, 2013

The car GM is developing would yield more than twice the range of a Chevrolet Spark EV.

General Motors plans to more than double the range of the typical electric vehicle – while also sharply driving the cost, according to a senior official.

But with mounting concerns about the slow consumer response to the first wave of battery electric vehicles, Doug Parks, GM’s global product development chief, cautioned the Associated Press that it was not yet sure if or when such a vehicle – projected to cost just $30,000 – would ever go into production.

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A vehicle delivering 200 mile range would come close to the range of the Tesla Model S, which is offered with a choice of several battery packs, including an extended-range version that can reach as much as 265 miles on a charge, according to the EPA.


GM Has Big Plans for Expanded Battery Lab

Detroit maker expands R&D center in push for better range.

by on Sep.17, 2013

Work gets underway at GM's expanded battery research center in suburban Detroit.

Facing increasing competition in the battery car market as global makers like Nissan, Volkswagen and Toyota begin fielding an array of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, General Motors has launched a major expansion of its battery development lab.

The move could prove critical not only in going up against GM’s traditional competitors but also new players in the alternative powertrain space, such as California battery-car start-up Tesla Motors. GM has confirmed plans to develop a vehicles that will deliver the extended range to challenge Tesla’s well-reviewed Model S.

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The research lab will also target ways to reduce charging times in an effort to make plug-based vehicles more practical in everyday use.

“GM is committed to vehicle electrification and our products in this area must continue to excite customers. A critical part of this plan is to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy storage systems,” said Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of global electrification engineering.


GM Planning to Export Spark EV

Sees opportunities in Korea and Europe.

by on Jul.17, 2013

A Chevy Spark EV charging.

General Motors plans to start selling its new Spark EV in South Korea by the end of the year and is preparing plans to launch the vehicle in Europe as well, Chevrolet officials tell

The Spark EV went on sale in California last month and while GM officials declined to offer sales projections for the Spark, they said they are quite optimistic about the long range prospects for the battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, particularly in key urban markets.

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“We expect growth in this segment,” said Chevrolet communications director Mike Albano.  “We’re bullish on the electric vehicle market.”

GM began selling the Spark EV, its first pure electric vehicle since the ill-fated EV1, last month. The base price for the battery version of the Chevrolet Spark subcompact is $27,495 – though that drops to $17,495 after the application of a $7,500 federal tax credit and another $2,500 credit from the state of California.


New High-Speed Charging Standard Could Boost Interest in EVs

GM, BMW adopt new system, others to follow.

by on Jun.13, 2013

The new high-speed charging system will be available for the launch of the new Chevrolet Spark EV this year.

Along with high prices and limited range, consumers list long charging times as one of the reasons why they’re reluctant to buy battery-based vehicles, whether plug-in hybrids or pure battery-electric models.

But proponents have been hoping to see demand increase with the increased availability of high-speed, so-called Level III chargers that could trim recharging times from hours to minutes. The problem has been that, until now, manufacturers have had several different high-speed charging options to choose from and that’s held off broader adoption that could put these chargers within easy reach of consumers.

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General Motors and BMW, however, have both agreed to sign on to a new standard designed to allow any battery car, whatever the brand, and whether plug-in or pure BEV, to get an 80% recharge in as little as 20 minutes.  A number of other makers, including Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, have also indicated they will adopt the standard.


Chevrolet Spark EV Starts at $19,995 After Credits

Battery car captures nation’s highest mileage rating.

by on May.23, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV can be purchased for as little as $17,500 in some locations due to federal, state and local incentives.

General Motors will begin selling its new Chevrolet Spark EV at select dealers in California and Oregon next month for a base price of $27,495 including destination charges.

Since the little battery-electric vehicle will qualify for a federal tax credit of $7,500, that will bring its effective price to $19,995 – and possible even lower thanks to various state and local tax credits. The maker also plans to offer a three-year, $199 a month lease after a downpayment of $999.

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That will position the Chevy Spark EV as one of the lowest-priced battery cars on the market, a move Chevy hopes will increase the appeal of the vehicle in a market still skeptical of electric propulsion. Based on EPA forecasts, the maker claims motorists could save as much as $150 a month on gasoline.


Chevy Spark Captures US Mileage Crown

Battery model also faster than gas-powered minicar.

by on Apr.25, 2013

The Spark EV will do 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds, significantly quicker than the gas model.

General Motors claims its new Chevrolet Spark has captured the U.S. fuel economy crown with a 119 MPGe -- or Miles Per Gallon-equivalent – rating. The new battery-electric vehicle has meanwhile been rated at 82 miles range on a full charge, according to the EPA.

The Spark is the Detroit maker’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, since the GM EV1 was pulled from production in 1991. The Chevy Spark EV is part of a wave of new electric vehicles aimed at consumers in California where that state has mandated that manufacturers must sell so-called Zero-Emission Vehicles.

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While automakers are challenging that mandate in court, a number of them, including GM, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda and others, are covering their bases by coming up with what critics have dubbed “compliance cars,” vehicles they will offer only, or at least primarily, in California.


Chinese Firm Nabs Battery Maker A123 Out from Under JCI

National security issues could scuttle deal.

by on Dec.10, 2012

Now Chinese-owned, A123 will provide the batteries for the new Chevrolet Spark EV.

Mega-supplier Johnson Controls has withdrawn its bid for the bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems after declining to match a higher, $256.6 million bid submitted by the Chinese company Wanxiang Group Corp.

JCI originally appeared to have landed a deal to take control of the automotive portion of A123 – but the deal was scuttled in bankruptcy proceedings – though it leaves open some national security concerns. Meanwhile, Illinois-based Navitas Systems will buy A123’s government business, including all outstanding military contracts, for $2.25 million.

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A123 currently is the principal supplier of batteries for Fisker, which has seen its deliveries interrupted since the company filed for bankruptcy in October. The battery maker’s other clients include General Motors which will use an A123 pack in its new Chevrolet Spark EV electric vehicle.


Chevrolet Confirms New Spark EV Coming to LA

GM’s 1st battery car to share stage with other electrics.

by on Nov.14, 2012

An inside-out look at the new Chevrolet Spark EV.

Battery car proponents are getting charged up about the upcoming LA Auto Show. Chevrolet is the latest maker to confirm it will have some electrifying news to announce at the annual event – in the form of the new Spark EV.

The Chevy minicar will be General Motors’ first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, since the much-heralded GM EV1 was pulled from the market after the 1999 model-year.

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“The Spark EV and next-generation of MyLink (Chevy’s new infotainment system) demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the advanced technologies that today’s consumers will be eager to adopt and truly value,” said Chevrolet General Marketing Manager Chris Perry.