Chevrolet Spark EV is appropriately named; US$25k after government incentives

At the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevy took the covers off its new electric vehicle based on the entry-level Spark (known as the Holden Barina Spark in Australia).

The Chevrolet Spark EV is priced at US$25,000 after US government tax incentives are taken into account. By way of comparison, that’s more than double the recommended price of the base Spark (US$12,245) and a few grand more expensive than the much larger Malibu (US$22,390).

For that money buyers get a small hatchback powered by an electric motor with 96kW (130hp) of power and a V8-busting 542Nm (400lb-ft) of torque. That enables the car to zip from from 0 to 96km/h (60mph) in under 8 seconds. Providing juice to the engine is 254kg lithium-ion battery pack rated to 20kWh. Although range is claimed to the best “in its segment”, Chevy has yet to put a precise figure on it.

From a 240V outlet the Spark is capable of doing a full recharge in under 7 hours — keep in mind, though, that US households have to make do 120V outlets. There’s also an SAE compliant fast charge system that can bring the car up to 80 percent of capacity in just 20 minutes.

Inside, the poverty-spec cabin is given a spruce up with chrome, electric blue and piano black highlights. Ahead of the driver, the regular Spark instrument cluster is replaced by a 7-inch LCD screen seemingly stolen from the Volt. Entertainment is taken care of by a 7-inch touchscreen display in the centre of the dash. The touchscreen display allows the driver to utilise the MyLink system — which has just debuted in Australia in the Barina CDX — to access internet apps, such as TuneIn Radio, Pandora, Stitcher and, on recent iPhones, Siri.

The Spark EV goes on sale in the US in the northern summer of 2013. No word yet on Australian availability, although we wouldn’t hold our breath.

All the stories from the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show
Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]