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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.


Hydrogen Power Holding On As Hyundai Prepares to Launch Fuel Cell Vehicle

But battery power dominating.

by on Dec.20, 2010

Hyundai plans to launch commercial production of a hydrogen vehicle, like this Tucson IX, by 2015.

Remember the future?  It was supposed to be hydrogen-powered.  At least that was what energy and auto industry leaders were saying for most of the past decade or so.  That was before everyone’s attention turned to lithium-powered battery cars.

Suddenly, hydrogen — and the fuel cell vehicles it was supposed to power — has dropped from the headlines.  But not from the highway.  Despite the attention being lavished on battery power, these days, and the hefty incentives being ladled out by both Washington and plenty of governments abroad, fuel cell technology is alive and well and still very well could become the truly clean and efficient technology of the future.

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Just ask Hyundai or Daimler AG.  Both automakers have made it clear they’re not giving up on hydrogen power in recent days.

The Korean maker is broadly hinting that it could bring a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the U.S. as early as 2012, a model that it suggests would look like a downsized version of the Mercedes R-Class crossover/van.

That would likely be a test program, but the maker has also said it plans to begin commercial fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, production by 2015.


First Drive: 2010 Nissan Leaf

Will consumers plug into battery powered 5-seater?

by on Nov.13, 2009

Nissan rolls out a prototype of the 2011 Leaf battery-electric vehicle to launch its 22-city "Zero Emissions Tour."

Nissan rolls out a prototype of the 2011 Leaf battery-electric vehicle to launch its 22-city "Zero Emissions Tour," before next year's introduction.

Every so often, the fate of an automaker winds up riding on a single new product.  For Nissan, the new Leaf could be exactly one of those vehicles.

No, if the little 5-seat sedan, set to roll into showrooms next year, fails to attract enough buyers, the Japanese automaker won’t go broke.  But Nissan’s corporate pride and image clearly have been wed to the success of the battery-electric vehicle, or BEV.

Long the also-ran in terms of bringing environmentally-friendly products to market, Nissan hopes to leapfrog leaders like Toyota and Honda, who it contends are taking only halfway measures, focusing on hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles that continue to burn petroleum and produce global warming emissions.  Nissan is going all the way, with Leaf – and three other BEVs it’s developing – which will eliminate tailpipe emissions entirely.

No Charge!

No Charge!

While “electrification” has become an industry buzzword, Nissan’s faith in battery technology puts it far out on a limb, with Leaf.  So, we jumped at a chance to take the new electric sedan for a spin – in this case, a moderately short one around a special course set up next to Dodge Stadium, in Los Angeles, where the Japanese maker is kicking off a 22-city “Zero Emission Tour” that will lead up to next year’s formal introduction.