Chevrolet Spark EV Does Some Hot Weather Testing In The Desert

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 10

Trista Schieffler Lets Us In On What Is Happening With the Spark EV

There has been a lot of issues of late pertaining to extreme hot weather and the abilities of pure EVs in that climate, so Chevrolet took their mostly ready for production Spark EVs out into the desert for a 305 mile trek from Yuma, AZ, to Torrance, CA this past weekend.

Chevrolet Spark EVs in Torrence, California

The cars, emblazoned with GM’s own personalize product QR code (just in case it has any gawkers with smart phones), started out in Arizona, took the I-8 West, across some country highways near the Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness Park and Warner Springs, AZ, then through Laguna Niguel, CA, up into Torrance.

The cars made several stops along the way using DC fast charging, which ironically the production Spark EV is not compatible with, as it utilizes the new SAE Combined standard, that has yet to have a single charging station built and installed for.

The reason for these tests according to Trista Schieffer, Lead Development Engineer for the Chevrolet Spark EV (pictured above) was:

“…to monitor how the Spark EV performs in a hot climate on various roads to optimize driving efficiency.  We’ll be watching to see how much the EV range varies in the hot weather and various types of operating scenarios—from interstate highways to country roads.  This drive will allow us to see if we need to make any last-minute adjustments to improve overall operating efficiency.”

Ok, We Are Going to Take The Picture Now. Try to Look Professional

Data will be collected from the drive, and some of the results are promised to be made public later in the week.

This is the second highly publicized outing for the Spark EV,  the first coming in late March of this year, with four prototype cars racking up 1,500 miles of faultless driving.  At the end of that run Trista commented:

“My biggest surprise and delight of the drive in California was that after four days and more than 1500 miles, there wasn’t one fault code on any of the vehicles.  This means we’re right on track to developing a great car.  The ability to leverage technology and experience from the Chevrolet Volt is enabling us to move quickly with this program.”

InsideEVs recently spoke with Annalisa Bluhm, who works for Chevrolet Communications, and she told us that the Spark EV is fully on schedule and will  be built in 2013 in South Korea, and will be sold later in the year as a 2014 model.

Separately, another representative from General Motors re-confirmed with us that GM is still fully committed to using batteries from the beleaguered American battery manufacturer, A123.

10 responses to "Chevrolet Spark EV Does Some Hot Weather Testing In The Desert"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    So these EV’s, unlike the Volt, are going to be made in South Korea, then imported here? That seems to suggest they don’t plan to sell many in America.

    1. staff says:

      Yes, imported to North America. It was conceived as a global/European car first, really have not seen much to think otherwise at this point.

      GM will use it first in the US as a compliance rollout, so likely a California(+) initial distribution to fill that out. Only a thousand or two will be produced the first year while they assess demand. However, unlike the Toyota RAV4 and Honda Fit EV, the Chevrolet will be build to the need, there is not a set limited production run and then the car is discontinued. If it finds success, and people want them, they will get them.

  2. Delta says:

    Liquid cooled pack? And how much? It can’t be within 5k of the volt so it would be very competitive.

  3. Stuart22 says:

    My guess is that it will be priced at a point where its final cost will be close to the same as an ICE Spark after tax credits are figured in.

  4. Shawn Marshall says:

    A nation which is $16,000,000,000,000. in debt cannot afford to subsidize EV purchase. If rationality and market forces come into play the tax credits will hopefully soon disappear.

    Point being, wouldn’t a Spark EV be interesting at that price point, ICE cost + former credit.
    Seems the fuel savings cost should be most interesting at that pricing level.
    Can’t you buy two Malibus for the price of a Volt?

    1. Ray I says:

      If oil companies were not subsidized through our tax code you’ld be paying somewhere north of $10/gal for gasoline, not to mention the cost of foolish wars. I agree that ALL subsidies should be eliminated.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      Maybe two old Malibu’s….

      Some Volt owners are saving so much not purchasing gas that their total cost of ownership is less than for a Cruze or a Toyota Camry, which are both cheaper than a new Malibu.

  5. Shawn Marshall says:

    PS – I appreciate the frequent posts on this site on all things EV.

    Keep up the good work and don’t succumb to Eco-freako Terrorism.

    Free men yearn for energy independence.

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