Chevrolet Spark EV Will Be Made In South Korea

Today we learned from General Motors that the pending 2013 Chevy Spark EV will be imported from South Korea where it will be made alongside the standard global platform Spark.

“The Spark EV will be produced in Changwon, South Korea, the same location as the Spark with the internal combustion engine,” said GM’s Randy Fox, Electric Vehicle Technology Communications.

We’re reporting this because where it would be produced was the subject of speculation when the car was announced, and we know people who are following its development have still been wondering.

Ironically, the Spark EV will make use of American-made A123 Systems batteries in its 20-kw pack, which represents an inversion of how the Volt is still produced. The extended-range electric Volt uses Korean batteries in its 16-kw pack, but is made in America.

More specifically, the Volt uses imported LG Chem cells that are assembled into their production-ready T-shaped battery packs in Brownstown, Mich., but plans to change this are imminent as LG Chem’s U.S. plant in Holland, Mich. is due for cell production.

Coming back to the peppy, 85-kw (114-horsepower) electric Spark, Chevrolet recently turned what might have been a clandestine test drive into a coy media event by parading “camoflauged” near-production ready Spark EVs through Southern California.

So far, GM has not divulged what other markets other than California are due to get the little battery electric vehicle.

“The Spark EV will be sold in limited quantities in select U.S. and global markets starting in 2013 (as a 2014 model), including California,” Fox said. “We have not announced any additional markets beyond California and have not said exactly when in 2013 they will be available. More news and information will be coming as we get closer to the introduction and launch of the Spark EV.”

We recently reported the range at 106 miles, but Fox said this was reading too deeply into an off-handed quip GM’s test engineer made in reference to a quote from a Blues Brothers’ movie.

“Allow me to modify one of the best movie quotes of all time: ‘It’s 106 miles to LA, we’ve got full battery charge, half a pack of twizzlers, it’s dark … and we’re wearing sunglasses – HIT IT!,’” she said.

Actually, the Spark EV’s range – along with curb weight, price, top speed, on-board charger details, and other specifications – are still not being shared, Fox said, as these are still being finalized.

Although Fox did not say so, it’s likely the company will continue using SAE charging connections as it does with the Volt, and not CHAdeMO. He did confirm DC fast charging will be available.


  • kickincanada

    As a Volt owner I’m a little disappointed it will be made in Korea – but as long as GM prices it right it should be a great competator to the iMiev. Looks much better!

  • Van

    So the range is not claimed to be 106? But the battery is claimed to be 20 KWh. Is that usable, or is only 16 KWh available for discharge.
    Prediction, the actual range will be between 80 miles and 65 miles.

  • Jeff Cobb

    Van – They are not giving out that level of detail now although I asked.

  • oilygarch

    Hopefully this will drive EV prices to a more accessible range. It will probably be priced at about $22 because it is much smaller and has less features than a Mitsubishi iMiEV and that is $29.5.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    What the heck happened to my last post???

    Anyway, I think I was talking about how it would be nice to have this car made in the USA. I don’t know why GM isn’t doing so, but either make it here or tell the “buy American, buy GM” to shut their piehole.

  • scottf200

    Probably to keep cost down if many parts are the same as they said this: “The Spark EV will be produced in Changwon, South Korea, the same location as the Spark with the internal combustion engine,” said GM’s Randy Fox, Electric Vehicle Technology Communications.

  • Spec

    Price it at $30K or less (before tax-credit) and I’m very interested. 20KWH battery pack, SAE DC-fast charge, 114 HP . . . it should be a peppy little EV. I’d like to get this and never buy gas again.

  • jones22

    I am definitely a big fan of the spark. SO much that you can get from this car. The future looks so bright with this car. orlando cerebral palsy attorneys

  • Rob Coleman

    That’s correct sounds good but bottom line it needs to be made in AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

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