Chevy Spark EV clinches EPA 82 mile range

GM has some good news to share today around its upcoming Spark EV, wich will go on sale this summer in California and Oregon around $25,000 after tax incentives.

The EPA has released performance data for the vehicle, noting the electric car will have  a combined city/highway estimated range of 82 miles when fully charged and a combined city/highway 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent. This looks to be among the best overall efficiency of any electric vehicle currently for the mainstream market, and one believed to be capable of saving owners up to $9,000 in fuel cost over five years.

What consumers buying into the Spark EV will get is “a technology-filled, all-electric mini car that goes from zero-to-60 mph in less than eight seconds,” noted Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America, in a story we ran on the car last November. It will have under the hood an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that produces at least 100 kW (130 hp) and instantaneous torque of about 400 lb.-ft. with the coaxial drive unit. This is mated to a 21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged up to 80 percent of battery capacity in approximately 20 minutes when one connects it to DC Fast Charging technology.

Charging will also be capable in less than seven hours using a dedicated 240V charge. This process is said to be capable of being managed and monitored remotely using a smartphone application. The battery pack, noted GM, will be covered by a limited warranty protection of eight years or 100,000 miles.

Spark EV at 2012 LA Auto Show (image copyright EarthTechling)

Inside the Spark EV, said GM, vehicle functions will be displayed on one of the vehicle’s two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch color LCD screens, including “a confidence gauge” that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions.

Those looking for a little extra technology to play with will be happy to take note of the Spark EV being equipped with Chevy’s MyLink radio that comes standard and brings smartphone-based infotainment – including apps for BringGo full-function navigation, TuneIn global internet radio, Pandora and Stitcher – into the vehicle. And, as an interesting added bonus, it will also play nice with Apple’s Siri voice activated system for customers with compatible (4S and newer) iPhones.

The pending debut of the Chevy Spark EV plays into GM’s plans to have up to 500,000 electrified vehicles on the roads by 2017. This includes as well cars like theChevy Volt, Cadillac ELR and those outfitted with eAssist light electrification technology such as the Buick LaCrosseRegal and Chevrolet Malibu.

And for those who are curious, GM said the motor and drive unit are assembled at GM’s Baltimore operations plant in White Marsh, Md., which reportedly marks the first time a major U.S. auto manufacturer has designed and built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling