After enjoying a fair amount of success with the Chevy Volt range-extender electric car, General Motors shifts focus to making an electric city car based on the Chevrolet Spark. This has no range-extender engine. So in order to adjust people’s expectations, they decided to release some handy driving tips that helps getting the most out of this small EV.
2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is a good little electric car with 130hp and 400 lb-ft of instant torque, which results in a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.6 seconds – pretty decent for a car of this type. But it only has a range of 82 miles, and that’s the main issue. You can never really enjoy your journey because there is a voice inside your head constantly reminding you to keep an eye on that charge-o-meter.
In a gasoline-powered car, it’s not the end of the world if you run out of juice. In an electric car, it sort of is. You can tow this cars the way tow a normal car. You have to load it into a truck. And it takes forever to get it recharged, even if you have access to a fast charger.
All that is why Chevrolet’s electric driving tips can be useful. They could also put you off buying the car, but that’s up to you. We just deliver the message. Prices for the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV start at $19,995.
Tips for all-electric, no-gas-required lifestyle:
- 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.