The Chevy Spark has made its official debut and will go on sale in California next year.
Chevrolet has just launched their first all-electric car for the U.S. market. The Chevy Spark's debut came with a bit of controversy and confusion, as the Spark will be sold initially in California with no plans in place as of yet to sell it anywhere else. The Spark EV is a mini-compact that will sit below the American co.'s Sonic. The car runs on nanophosphate lithium-ion battery packs supplied by A123 Systems.
The gasoline version is equipped with a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 83-hp and is coupled with a standard five-speed manual or optional automatic transmission. Chevy's parent company General Motors has said that they aren't expecting more than 2,000 examples of the electric cars to be sold in the first year. The Spark will only be sold in California to meet new legislation requiring that automakers that sell regular gas vehicles will have to complement their lineup with an all-electric car. "The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option," said Jim Federico.
The global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet continued: "It complements Chevrolet's growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology." The Spark didn't debut without a bit of controversy, however. The first thing skeptics noticed was an inaccurate photo Chevy released of their EV's dashboard. Apparently the readout stated the Spark received 18mi/kWh. Most EVs only get around 4kWh. The second problem occurred when a prank by someone who GM claims was a 'subcontractor.'
The word 'sucks' appeared after every time the American company mentioned another brand on their website. Chevy's main rivals felt the sting of the very mature name-calling stunt, like Ford, Toyota, Honda and Chrysler.
Hijinks aside, the Chevrolet Spark EV will arrive in 2012 as a 2013 model. A traditional gas powered car will also accompany the EV in showrooms. Check out the video below of Chevy's premier U.S. market EV charging and running in the rain.