2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

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What's New for 2015:
  • Two charging options, including any household outlet
  • Roll-out of new SAE Combo fast-charging station--charges to 80% in 20 minutes
  • Updated OnStar system and 4G Wi-Fi capability

The 2015 Spark EV is an all-electric small car powered by a Lithium-ion battery that can travel 82 miles on one charge, according to Chevrolet. It is based on the third-generation Spark platform, whose DNA originates from South Korea's Daewoo Matiz in the late '90s, before Daewoo became part of General Motors. Chevrolet began selling the Spark EV in the United States in 2013, with limited distribution in California and Oregon. Plans call for selling the model in Maryland this year. The Chevy Spark EV competes with the Honda Fit EV, Ford Focus Electric, and the Nissan Leaf.

Models and Features
All-new in 2014, the 2015 Spark EV is available in two trim levels. Standard features for the 1LT include remote keyless entry; power windows, locks, and mirrors; tilt steering wheel with audio and phone interface controls; and cruise control. The Spark EV 1LT also comes equipped with information and entertainment technology features including Chevrolet MyLink with a 7-in. color touch screen along with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a 3-month satellite radio trial subscription. All Spark EVs are fitted with standard 15-in. aluminum wheels.

The 2LT trim level adds a few upscale items, including Dark Pewter leatherette heated front seats with Electric Blue trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents.

Since the Spark EV is powered by a 20-kWh Lithium-ion battery that is under the rear seating and cargo area, there is less storage space than in the gasoline-powered Spark. Interior cargo room is 23.4 cu. ft. vs. 31.2 cu. ft. in the conventionally-powered Spark. However, the electric motor configuration does allow for more passenger room despite the smaller car's dimensions. Also, the Spark EV's turning radius of 33.8 ft. outperforms that of the Mini Cooper, so parallel parking in the city is simple, Chevy says.

Six exterior paint colors are offered, including Metallic Lime. Interior upholstery choices are Electric Blue cloth seats and optional Dark Pewter leatherette seats with silver trim.

Under the Hood
The 2015 Spark EV features an electric propulsion system drive unit that is paired with a Lithium-ion battery. Without a traditional transmission, 327 lb. ft. of torque goes directly to the wheels, which means the electric car achieves 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, according to Chevrolet. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) small car also produces the equivalent of 140 horsepower, according to Chevrolet specs. The battery is backed by an 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty.

Two charging choices for the 2015 Spark EV include the standard 120-volt cord that plugs into any household outlet and a faster, optional 240-volt charger that can fully charge the battery in just 7 hours, Chevy says. In addition, Chevrolet is rolling out an optional SAE Combo fast-charging station from Bosch that can charge the battery to 80% in 20 minutes, the automaker claims.

Fuel Economy
The 2015 Spark EV averages 128 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in city driving and 109 MPGe on the highway, for a 119 MPGe combined fuel-economy rating, according to the EPA. The Spark EV averages 82 miles per charge, based on EPA ratings. Also, the EPA-estimated fuel-cost savings is nearly $9,000 over a five-year term, which means that Spark EV owners can save an estimated $150 a month in gasoline expenditures.

Safety Ratings and Technology
Safety features on the Spark EV include 10 air bags--dual front, front side, knee, rear side, and full-length side curtain. Traction and stability control and emergency brake assist are standard, along with 4-wheel disc brakes and ABS. Hill-start assist helps hold the car on steep inclines after releasing the brake.

Connectivity is a major feature of the Spark EV, with instant feedback on range and battery status provided on the 7-in. LCD screen's driver information center. Chevrolet MyLink connectivity provides access to music, media, and mobile apps by connecting to the touch screen, and owners and lessees receive a free 3-month satellite radio trial through Bluetooth or the USB port. Also, the OnStar emergency communication system is standard for 3 years.

Although the 2015 Spark EV has not been tested and rated for safety, the gasoline-powered 2015 Spark received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It also received a \"Top Safety Pick\" designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


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