Chevy Spark EV’s Hot Weather Test Completed

5 years ago by Mike Buchanan 10

Picture of Chevy Spark EV testing in Yuma, AZ. Picture courtesy of Kevin Kelly, manager of GM's electric vehicle and hybrid communications

Due in showrooms sometime in 2013, Chevy set out to do extra desert testing on their new Spark EV because of the current issues surrounding the Nissan Leaf and hot weather. The test, which Insideevs.com covered,  was a 305-mile road trip from Yuma, Arizona to Torrance, California with average temperatures around the 100 degree mark.

Nice cutaway of the Chevy Spark EV

Kevin Kelly, manager of General Motor’s electric vehicle and hybrid communications, said “We wanted to make sure that our electric motor is operating optimally.” According to Kelly, lithium-ion batteries operate at peak efficiency in non-extreme condition. To keep the batteries as efficient as possible, GM engineers created a heating and cooling system to keep the batteries at best performing temperatures.

 

“We are pretty close to the final calibrations on the vehicle, but we wanted to see what last-minute things needed to be tweaked to make sure we were on the right path,” explained Kelly. “We are just trying to make sure that system (the battery heating and cooling system) is working perfectly before we sell it to our customers.”

 

Although, the results of the test have not been released, Insideevs.com will relay all pertinent information as soon as it becomes available.

 

 

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10 responses to "Chevy Spark EV’s Hot Weather Test Completed"

  1. James says:

    That was the extent of their hot-weather testing? I hate to break it to them, but the problem is not driving it across a hot landscape, it’s keeping the battery cool when it’s parked (which is most of the time) and when it’s charging. I have one of the affected Leaf’s in Phoenix, and the problem is that the Leaf has no active thermal management for the battery, so I’m glad to see they are implementing an active system, even on a cheaper car. I can only imagine that NIssan is regretting their initial decision to leave out TMS on their cars, especially those destined for Texas and Arizona, although no one has heard an official peep from Nissan yet on this issue, except that it’s normal (which it isn’t). I encourage Chevy to under-promise and over-deliver.

    1. backstroke says:

      Very much doubt that was the extent, and yes you are right to point out the other use cases, even Nissan are aware of them, as you well know.

      Nissan regretting not having a TMS, possibily, but we have a long way to go in the development and commercialization of EVs, who is to say down that road when batteries develop, to what extent they will require a TMS. Just maybe it will be cheaper to replace in smaller numbers than have a TMS on all units. Time will tell.

      IMHO just enjoy your car and let Nissan deal with the problem if and when it is fully developed.

      1. Stuart22 says:

        “just enjoy your car and let Nissan deal with the problem….”

        No. Time to stop this being in denial about realities, such as Nissan’s failure to address this critical issue. Such as rockstar Carlos Ghosn’s failure to take charge and give some hope to the many who have in the past worshiped him for his bold visions and promises of EV success. People have trusted his words in the past, his silence on present LEAFer concerns mustn’t be accepted, being in denial with statements like yours is not the answer.

        1. backstroke says:

          Your comment is confusing, first you talk about realities and a critical issue, then you say concerns, which is it? How many vehicles are now affected, is it still less than 50 out of 25,000 sold, or what is the accurate number?

          Please leave out all the crap about rockstars and such, that in no way adds to the discussion.

          If you think any large corporation is just going to blindly offer customers a replacement regardless of their use of a product or without seeing how the issue develops then you are mistaken. Nissan have to be careful not to send a message that a owner can do what they like to a LEAF and Nissan will fix it regardless.

          On the other hand Nissan can and should do more to educate and help customers understand what is best for their battery. Lots of ideas have been discussed on this site and others, lets see what MY2013 brings.

          1. Stuart22 says:

            Well, it just could be that Nissan put a flawed automobile out in the market without warning buyers of its limitations. Either they rushed it through development without proper vetting, or they simply did not inform buyers the truths in regards to its limitations. One could say they even misled buyers via their past statements on the LEAF’s lack of TMS not being a concern.

            I’ve criticized Ghosn for a long time, and I will continue to do so because he deserves it. His credibility as an EV advocate is in question as long as he and his company remain silent on this battery situation.

    2. Brian says:

      I too am interested whether these or future cars will incorporate TMS while the vehicle is parked. Even though I’m in a cold climate, I want EVs to be successful everywhere.

      It will be interesting to see how different companies approach the different markets. For me, the 2013 Leaf’s range preservation in cold weather is very important (details are still unknown) and the hot-weather capacity loss is a non-issue. The reverse is true for those of you in the southwest. If Nissan is smart, they will offer these solutions as options you can select based on where you live and drive.

      1. mitch says:

        The TMS in the Volt allows it to pre heat when connected to the grid, not sure about the cooling.

  2. Herm says:

    Nissan did put a battery degradation and temperature gauge on the dash, very prominent ones. Owners are upset that their 73 mile bev now has a range of 58 miles after a year of ownership, still more than the average 40 miles people need but still upsetting. Will Nissan cave and provide a new $13k battery?

  3. Delta says:

    Any price yet for the spark ev?

  4. lektriktadpole says:

    I remember discussions on GM-volt.com a few years ago during Volt development that covered this issue. Basically, Chevy decided to have an engineering solution to this problem and thus instituted active temperature management. Nissan chose the opposite tack and was reported to have taken out a very large insurance policy on their battery warranty plan. I don’t remember if it was supposed to be with Lloyd’s or not, though. Anyway, I would rather have engineers solve the problem than have bean counters manage the costs. Stonewalling shafted customers is a very time honored method of managing business costs. Not too good for repeat business though.