In case you had doubts, or did not actually know, electric vehicles such as the 2014 Chevy Spark EV are “fun,” “spunky” and a “hoot to drive” says its maker passing along descriptors used by car reviewers.
“Spark EV is the new benchmark for electric cars aimed at urban driving and a kick in the pants to pilot around town,” Chevrolet quotes Lindsay Brooke, senior editor, SAE International magazines as saying. “Spark EV owners who are new to all-electric driving will soon find out how difficult it is to hide their silly grin when they realize how far that car will take them for pennies on the dollar.”
Actually, benchmark status notwithstanding for the 119 MPGe subcompact, GM is only dipping its toes in the EV waters by launching it in Oregon and California, with “sales expanding to Canada, South Korea and Europe later.”
Chevrolet has offered no word yet on when the other 48 U.S. states will get this superlative EV that zips from 0 to 60 in less than 7.6 seconds with its electric motor delivering 130-horsepower, 400 pounds-feet of torque.
Perhaps as it puts out infographics and whimsical ad spots with the car attracting skateboarders and driving on a building’s roof, and what not, Chevrolet is gauging interest as it plans how and when the rest of its home country will get the car priced at $27,495 before subsidies?
Meanwhile, Chevrolet says “getting plugged-in to an all-electric, no-gas-required lifestyle will be a new experience” and offers the following tips:
• Recharge daily – And do it quicker with the soon-to-be-available SAE combo charger for DC fast charging. It can recharge the 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to 80-percent capacity in 20 minutes.
• Extend range – Maximize the mini-car’s EPA-estimated 82 miles (130 km) of driving range by recharging in public charging stations, or use Spark EV’s standard 120V cord in any outlet.
• Don’t be a juice hog – Public charging stations are in high demand. After charging, move on so that other EV owners can recharge. Or if parking conditions allow, place a note on your dashboard saying it’s okay to unplug your car if the Green Light indicating a full charge is flashing.
• Know the distance – The available BringGo smartphone app can help Spark EV owners know how far they can go without recharging by providing full-function, in-dash navigation via Chevrolet MyLink as well as live traffic updates, for less than $60.
• Go with the flow – Many EV owners like to maximize range by driving at or below the speed limit. No problem, just steer clear of the fast lane so other Spark EV drivers can enjoy their instant torque.
• Be loud – The Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function projects a light chirp and calls attention to Spark EV’s presence. Pulling the turn signal lever back while in Drive will give a friendly honk. The alert can be set to activate automatically in Drive and Reverse at speeds below 18 mph (28 km/h).
• Enjoy the savings – Spark EV can save its owners approximately $9,000 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle – that’s $150 per month that can be spent on something else.
• Be an EV advocate – Expect to get lots of questions about Spark EV. Take these opportunities to spread the advantages of going gas free.