October 12, 2011 – DETROIT, MI and NEW CANAAN, CT
On the eve of National Plug-In Day, General Motors has announced today it plans to introduce a pure electric version of the Chevrolet Spark minicar in select U.S. markets.
The Spark EV is an electric version of the upcoming 2013 Spark minicar that will be slotted below the subcompact Sonic in Chevrolet’s U.S. product lineup.
A123 Systems will provide the battery for the Spark EV, GM said.
The Spark is expected to go on sale in the U.S. market in late 2012, after the launch of the redesigned mid-sized Malibu sedan. GM officials indicated the Spark EV would go on sale in 2013.
Jim Federico, head of global electric vehicles for Chevrolet, said the Spark EV would be rolled out in key countries and urban markets where low speeds and shorter distances dominate driving habits.
“Our global demo fleets continue to provide insight into the needs of electric vehicle customers living in urban environments,” Federico said. “The Spark EV is another step in Chevrolet’s plan to provide customers with a variety of electrification solutions to address the lifestyle and transportation needs of people around the world.”
GM will provide an estimated range for the Spark EV closer to launch. The automaker did not say where the Spark for the U.S. market will be assembled.
GM is joining several automakers with plans to market all-electric vehicles as the U.S. government prepares to finalize tougher fuel economy requirements for light vehicles through 2025.
Tesla Motors and Nissan Motor Company are already marketing electric vehicles. And Chevrolet has been marketing the worlds only Extended Range Electric Vehicle, the Chevy VOLT.
Ford Motor Company plans an all-electric version of the Focus compact car beginning in 2012. Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Kia Motors Corporation are also readying all-electric vehicles for sale in the United States.
In January, GM CEO Dan Akerson said the automaker was developing an all-electric vehicle for the United States, giving GM another ‘green’ model to complement the Chevrolet Volt.
The Volt is an extended-range sedan with a gasoline engine designed to run primarily on battery power. When the battery is depleted, the gas engine recharges the battery. It went on sale in December 2010.
To date, pure Electric Vehicles have met some resistence with American car buyers as their limited driving range gives drivers what has become known as ‘range anxiety.’ However, certain market areas have proven to be ideal for EV’s as most driving within urban centers is contained in a limited distance. This announcement by General Motors is further proof that Electric Vehicles are here to stay. Battery technology has advanced to the point where EV’s now offer consumers a legitimate choice for personal transportation. EV’s also have the advantage of operating on energy that is 100% produced domestically in the U.S.
To learn more about EV’s in general, the Chevrolet Volt, and KARL Chevrolet’s committment to renewable energy, visit us during our National Plug-In Day Event on Saturday, October 15, 2011, or anytime we are open!