General Motors released yesterday details of its first pure electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Spark EV.

The electric car will be based off of the small gas-engine Spark already offered.

Its propulsion will delivered by an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that produces at least 100 kilowatts (130 horsepower) and instantaneous torque of about 400 pound-feet with the coaxial drive unit.

GM says the resulting acceleration for the 0-60 mph sprint will take less than eight seconds.

The Spark EV will come with an industry-first, a SAE combo charger. This will allow DC Fast Charging of up to 80 percent of battery capacity in approximately 20 minutes.

That capability will be available shortly after market launch, GM says, adding it will provide EV range among the best in the segment.

“When our team set out to develop the propulsion system for Spark EV, we knew we had to provide surprising fun-to-drive acceleration with maximum efficiency,” said Spark EV Chief Engineer Chuck Russell. “What we think customers will enjoy most is how fun Spark EV is to drive; it’s seamless and power is available at every stage of the drive,” Russell said. “This will help us to provide an exciting option for those customers who are looking for an EV that’s as much fun to drive as it is environmentally responsible.”

The Spark EV’s more than 20-kwh lithium-ion battery pack will be protected by Chevrolet’s eight years /100,000 miles warranty, and is said by GM to be capable of handling multiple DC Fast Charges daily.


Charging will also be possible in less than seven hours using a dedicated 240-volt charger. A 120-volt charge cord set will be standard.

Owners will be able to manage and monitor charging remotely using the Spark EV’s smart phone application, provided by OnStar.

“Spark EV’s battery has undergone more than 200,000 hours of testing in our global battery systems labs,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM’s global electrification engineering team. “This testing paved the way to allow our customers to do multiple DC Fast Charges daily to help alleviate range anxiety and improve convenience.”

GM says the Spark EV team was able to leverage expertise gained on the Chevrolet Volt program and uses many of the same components and systems. More than 75 percent of the propulsion system components are sourced either from the Volt or GM’s hybrid truck programs.

The Spark EV motor and drive unit will be manufactured early 2013 at GM’s transmission plant in White Marsh, Md., near Baltimore. GM says this will make the first time a U.S. auto manufacturer has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.

“Spark EV is the latest demonstration of our growing expertise in electric motor and battery technologies – expertise we will need as we grow our portfolio of electric vehicles to address the needs of our global customers,” Nitz said.