2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review Actual Owner's 2012 Nissan 2 months ago   24:06

Alex on Autos
When GM said their new EV cranked out more torque than the standard Tesla Model S or a Ferrari 458 Italia, my interest was piqued. When they said their new EV was a front wheel drive car, I scratched my head. When they said it was none other than the Spark, aka the Daewoo Matiz Creative, I knew I needed to see what GM's first pure-electric vehicle since the ill-fated EV1 was all about.



The Spark EV starts its life in Changwon, South Korea where gasoline and electric sparks are built by GM Korea. The heart of the Spark however comes from America. GM is building the permanent magnet motors in Maryland and rather than using LG batteries made in Korea, like the Chevy Volt, American-made batteries courtesy of B456 (formerly A123). (No, I'm not kidding.) Instead of shipping cars sans drivetrain, GM ships batteries and drivetrain to Korea, then they ship the completed car back to the USA.

Why does the Spark EV exist? Because of my home state of California of course. The California Air Resources Board has mandated that Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, GM and Chrysler make a total of 7,500 zero emissions vehicles by 2014 and 25,000 by 2017. This just the start of the estimated 270,000 yearly production that will be required in 2025.


As with the gasoline version, the front seats are flat, firmly padded and offer little lumbar support. The hard plastics on the doors make for an uncomfortable place to rest your elbow but thankfully there is a padded armrest in the center for the driver only. This isn't unusual for compact cars, but electrification makes for strange bedfellows and the Leaf, Focus EV and Fiat 500e are direct competition that all offer more driver and passenger comfort.

Because of the Spark's narrow width the Chevy is a strict four-seater putting it on par with the 500e but one passenger behind the Fit, Leaf and Focus. It was surprisingly easy to put four tall adults in the Spark, a task that is more difficult in the considerably larger Focus because of its sloping roof-line. Still, passengers will be more comfortable in the Honda Fit which offers a bit more room for four, seating for five and more headroom all the way around. Despite the Leaf's rear seat numbers being average, because of the way the seating position in the Leaf most people will find the Nissan roomier.

As with most gas to EV conversions, the Spark loses a bit of cargo volume in the process dropping 2 cubes to 9.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That's slightly larger than the 500e but a long way from the Leaf's spacious 24 cubic foot booty. Unlike the Fiat 500e however, GM chose not encroach on passenger footwell space for battery storage.
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Comments 107 Comments

profbillneill
@UCT6hvZgLB6RQsFgWUnxsJfA









@UCT6hvZgLB6RQsFgWUnxsJfA



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DEMAND NEW RANGE TEST -- Call it 50RANGEtest=3h 15m
Full charge, 50 mph, flat and level, no stops and starts, wind less than 5 mph, now what is the time you can drive on this 100% charge down to 10% = 3h 16m (guess). This shows me, in terms I can relate to, just how long can I drive on one full charge. Eq2GAS in MPG just does not make me understand what I got to work with, BUT 3h 15m I can use and deal with. Good test location is on 5, start at bottom of Grape Vine and drive towards SF or use an actual test track. Now once we got this number of hours in mind, we do know it must be lowered by stops and starts and wind and 400lb passenger or load and hills and so on, but still I have much better understanding with 50RT=@
profbillneill
@UCT6hvZgLB6RQsFgWUnxsJfA









@UCT6hvZgLB6RQsFgWUnxsJfA



@










DEMAND NEW RANGE TEST -- Call it 50RANGEtest=3h 15m
Full charge, 50 mph, flat and level, no stops and starts, wind less than 5 mph, now what is the time you can drive on this 100% charge down to 10% = 3h 16m (guess). This shows me, in terms I can relate to, just how long can I drive on one full charge. Eq2GAS in MPG just does not make me understand what I got to work with, BUT 3h 15m I can use and deal with. Good test location is on 5, start at bottom of Grape Vine and drive towards SF or use an actual test track. Now once we got this number of hours in mind, we do know it must be lowered by stops and starts and wind and 400lb passenger or load and hills and so on, but still I have much better understanding with 50RT=@
BruceTheSillyGoose
appears to be startlingly quiet and gentle-riding for such a small car.
pantherkent
My compliments on your in-depth and precise review of the Spark EV — you present quite well and are very easy to listen to. I recently picked up one of these (a 2015) just off lease for just under $10K with only 18K miles. Looking forward to a commute-n-charge lifestyle.
myphonyaccount
Perfectly light weight and handling unlike all the 200+ mile cars. GM needs to bring this car back as the level 3 QUICK CHARGE network grows (not the plentiful level 2 charge). Filter "CCS/COMBO plug" on www.plugshare.com
joseph john
Nice one but you don't do EV videos anymore
AlainHubert
Cheap materials, poor range, poor brakes, ugly as can be, and expensive for what it offers. I'll pass. But great review nonetheless. Don't apologize to GM, because they should apologize to you for offering this ugly golf-cart-with-a-roof for you to review in the first place.
Jason Schultz
Great review! Thank you!
XplaneZ
I imagine people on the internet are so pathetic that you had to preemptively apologize before they attacked you! O TEMPORA O MORES
That awkward camera take is better than you think I have seen it in many shows.
Tre L
thanks, well done.
Colette Clark
what does a code 65 mean on a chevy spark
RENO WEED
Does Chevrolet offer the Spark Ev with a sunroof to open in hot weather. it could help to save power raNGE THEN IF I DON T USE AC THEN.
tabcan
I don't understand why these small cars need to look like clown cars.  Who can look at it from the back and not think of it as a clown car?  That's the number one reason I wouldn't buy one, and I'm guessing I'm not alone.
PETER MAINWALD
the 2015 is more efficient due to better gearing... 118 miles on a charge is easily obtainable.
PETER MAINWALD
Actually, the brake light DOES come on when you lift off the gas and are in Low... Strangely enough the Volt does not...
Trades46
This is surprisingly a little gem hidden in GM's portfolio that doesn't get as much exposure as the Volt & other GM products. Surprisingly, the Spark EV share a lot of similarities to the upcoming Bolt EV which looks about the same but this time is built off a EV-designed platform.

I have more trust in GM making the Bolt great vs. Tesla's Model 3, simply because it is easier for a corporate giant like GM to build a solid mass-market car than it is for a small luxury maker like Tesla to downscale luxury sedans to a mass-market car that won't lose in terms of build quality & features vs. mass-market brands.
Lower Level
My favourite part is not having to fuel up at a gas station with all the ignorant buggers there.
geesh
This is a pretty great car, I get 100 miles to charge and kids fit in the back. 10K was paid on lease by taxpayers so I had zero down and a ridiculous 70$ per month. I only pay 70$ per month for three years with zero down and I get carpool lane. It is a no-brainer sincer our wonderful taxpayers paid 10K into my lease. Thanks bitches! I love my leased car!
Mr. Teff
If you lease a Spark or a Fiat EV, you will not need an oil change or any other engine maintenance for the next three years. You will never need to buy gas. You will never need to stand in line at a gas station. And the cost of electricity will be a fraction of what you've been paying for gas.
TheLuismondo
Electric vehicles... That battery is still to much trouble, I know is the beginnings of this stuff but I rather wait until it becomes more practical and affordable or they develop a better fuel.
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Actual Owner's 2012 Nissan 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review 2 months ago   19:50

Finally, a real-world review of the 2012 Nissan Leaf by owners
Bob & Karen. Most all your questions will be answered about Leaf ownership
in this video. Intro /Outro Music licensed from Bryant-Hames music and Elite Video.