New 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV At Select Dealerships Now

10 months ago by Jay Cole 35

How Refreshing Is This?  Chevrolet Spark EV Arrives At Dealerships 3 Months Early

How Refreshing Is This? Chevrolet Spark EV Arrives At Dealerships 3 Months Early

First announced for production in October of 2011, InsideEVs can report that the first batch of Spark EV have now been delivered to select California dealers starting today (Monday, June 17th).

Also A Big Feature In California:  HOV Access

Also A Big Feature In California: HOV Access

About three months ago, after speaking with Chevrolet rep Annalisa Bluhm, we brought you the news that the Spark EV’s arrival was tracking to begin a few months earlier than the “late summer” that had been (and ironically still is) estimated on GM’s corporate website.

 ”The cars will be in dealerships by July if all goes to plan” – Annalisa Bluhm , March 25th, 2013

Now with boots on the ground in California, we can report at least three dealerships have the Spark EV in inventory today.  Specifically Keyes Chevrolet, in Los Angeles,  Connell Chevrolet in Costa Mesa, and Bunnin Chevrolet in Culver City.

We assume this means the Spark EV will also be available elsewhere in the state imminently, and very shortly in Oregon – the Spark EV’s other initial market.

Update (Thursday, June 20th, 2013)We count at least 13 dealers now currently with in-stock Spark EVs…so distribution is happening fast now

GM has yet to commit to any timeline on a national rollout.  The all electric mini car will be available next year in select regions of Europe during the first quarter, and as a fleet-only offering in Canada.

So if you are in the market for a pint-sized all electric vehicle that outperforms its peers when it comes to performance and range…your wait is over.  (Also of interest – check out our Fiat 500e vs Chevrolet Spark EV comparison report)

About the Spark EV:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

35 responses to "New 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV At Select Dealerships Now"

  1. Brian says:

    Very refreshing to see an automaker come in ahead of schedule. It will be interesting to see how the rollout of this EV proceeds. Will it be like the Leaf which appeared in the west, but then took a year and a half to make it to the east? Or will it be like the Volt which appeared in select markets, but quickly spread nationwide?

    1. evnow says:

      It is a compliance car available only in CA & OR. When other CARB states mandate ZEV sales, it will be available in those states.

      1. Brian says:

        Has GM explicitly stated that it will only ever be available in CA/OR, or is that just your assumption? It is clearly launching there, and that makes sense because they need the credits.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          AFAIK this is as close to comformation that it will be more than just a compliance/Californian car:

          November 2012 – Global Product Development Chief Mary Barra – “We’ll meet requirements set by certain regulatory agencies, but we’re not building the Spark EV to check a regulatory box,” noted the GM exec, while saying the car will first go on sale in South Korea and in select US markets before rolling out on a global scale.

          I think the fact it rolls out in to select dealerships in Europe (and fleet to Canada) in 2014 , along with South Korea now…and that GM has EV-savvy dealers nationwide already with the Volt, means the car will roll out nationwide at some point.

          Here is the thing with EVs, at least when it comes to compliance. Even though a national roll-out will sell you more cars, if your car sells too poorly an OEM does NOT want to sell it nationally to fix that situation.

          All the major OEMs (outside of Nissan) still have to sell a set amount of EVs for ARB-complaince. If they have a product distributed nationally out of the gate, and then they find they have to deep discount the car below cost in California to satisfy reqs, they are now forced to lose money all over the country unnecessarily.

          Lets say GM needs to sell say aprox 2,100 Spark EVs to satisfy CARB, and they have a razor-thin margin of 5% at $27,495. If Chevy blows through 1,000 in the first 3 months in CA/OR, the decision is easy to roll it out nationally.

          If GM only manages to sell 250 or so the first full month, then dips under 100 in month 2…not so easy. They are now going to struggle to make their number, big discounts are coming…and they now have to do some serious rethinking about pure EV sales for the next compliance requirement bump coming down the road.

          1. kdawg says:

            Paul Pebbles of GM said this in January.
            —-
            “It’s not a compliance car,” said Pebbles. “We’re planning a global launch of this vehicle—it will be in a lot of markets.” But Pebbles also said that GM isn’t yet talking volumes or specific American markets where the car will roll out next summer.

            From plugincars.com
            http://www.plugincars.com/ces-how-bright-chevy-spark-126059.html

              1. MTN Ranger says:

                The Ford Focus is not a compliance car per se. I can buy on in NC – my local Ford dealer has one in stock. Ford just chooses to price it in the stratosphere and make a hundred a month.

          2. Brian says:

            Thanks for the analysis, Jay. That makes sense to me. So in practice, I can expect a roll out similar to the Focus EV? I.e. painfully slow if you actually want this car, but carefully measured from GM’s point of view.

            I don’t want OEMs to lose money on EVs on a per-car basis. The cars will never be successful if that’s the case. I do wish they would “man-up” and invest some NRE R&D dollars. I also wish they would accept a lower margin for now until the current battery investments pay off.

      2. Raymondjram says:

        No, it is a full market car, and GM will make it available nationwide by 2015. I am not in any of the 50 states, yet I am on a waiting list at my dealer which sells the 2013 gas Spark.

  2. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Hey, GM copied Nissan with the bug-eyed headlights!

    Oh well, the more EVs the merrier!!!

    1. kdawg says:

      The ICE version of the Chevy spark had those headlights before the Nissan Leaf was out.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      The gas Spark has been on sale as the Matiz in many international markets. You can see it in the 2007 Transformer movie as the green Beat named Autobot “Skids”. The gas Spark was on sale since August 2012. You are way behind in your comments! BTW, Nissan is who copies most of American styles!

      1. Future Leaf Driver says:

        Well at least Nissan didn’t copy GM on the 4 seat maximum for EVs and put a fifth seat option in the Leaf!!!

        Unless you really like sitting over a cup holder, lol!!!

        1. Stuart22 says:

          Too bad Nissan didn’t copy GM on the temperature management system found with all Spark EV batteries.

  3. David Murray says:

    I still can’t stand the instrument panel. It looks like it was an aftermarket bolt-on to the steering column. I can’t, can’t, can’t stand that. I hate the same thing about the Mini Cooper and the Smart Car.

    1. kdawg says:

      I’m not seeing what you are talking about. Are you talking about the display right above the steering wheel (speedometer)? It appears to be in the dash and not attached to the steering column.

      1. David Murray says:

        Look at this photo and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The entire instrument panel is attached to the steering column:

        1. kdawg says:

          Ah, from this angle I see it now. Yeah, no thanks. It must be a lot cheaper doing it this way though.

        2. Gwido says:

          So it moves up and down when you tilt the steering column?

  4. CAMiEV says:

    Does anyone know how many EV GM need to produce to meet CARB requirements?
    Like Toyota has to produce 2600 RAV4 EV. How many Spark EV does GM need to produce? For how many years? Thanks

    1. Raymondjram says:

      GM already complies with the CARB requirements before this Spark came to America. It is not limited in production numbers, as long as GM Korea can produce it, and it can be in production forever.

      1. No, GM did not yet have a CARB ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE since this is the first one, therefore they are not “in compliance” until today. They likely need to sell a “few thousand” for CARB Phase III, model years 2012-2014.

        THEY ARE ALREADY LATE TO THE GAME!!! You’ll note this is 2013, not 2012. Toyota and the rest were rushing to get some 2012 model year cars out. GM is the last to market with their compliance car. In typical media spin, it is announced by GM as “early”. Ya, right. They better have the price at rock bottom to meet the mandate, being this late.

        The six “Very Large Manufacturers” that need to meet CARB – ZEV standards for 2012-2014 model years are:

        GM – Spark EV (estimate a few thousand to be sold)

        FORD – Focus EV (estimate a few thousand to be sold)

        Chrysler/Fiat – 500e (estimate 1000 to be sold)

        Toyota – Rav4 EV (2600 announced, 600 sold so far). Toyota is likely to use hydrogen cars for 2015-2017 CARB ZEV

        Honda – Fit EV (1100 announced). Honda is likely to use hydrogen cars for 2015-2017 CARB ZEV

        Nissan – LEAF (62,000 SOLD worldwide, probably over 10,000 in California… They SELL credits to others like Tesla does… Tesla made $63 million so far doing that!)

  5. Warren says:

    I assume that, like the Fit EV, it has better lifetime CO2 than a Leaf, way better than a Tesla…still not as good as a Prius C. We need smaller, more aerodynamic EV’s. Making those big battery packs uses more than a quarter of the total lifetime CO2.

    http://www.greenercars.org/highlights_greenest.htm

    http://www.environment.ucla.edu/media_IOE/files/BatteryElectricVehicleLCA2012-rh-ptd.pdf

    1. Eletruk says:

      Wow, I counted 35 assumptions made in that report. Really? This is a scientific report? Rather than making assumptions, I would like to see a report that is actually based on fact. Otherwise it’s just another “Dust to Dust” with manufactured comparisons rather than any real scientific data.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      The prius C still burns gas, so how can it be cleaner than a pure EV? Do you grow your fuel or get it from the sky? And how much CO2 went building and shipping that prius C?

      It will always be dirtier that a EV!

      1. Warren says:

        Read the UCLA paper linked to above.

        1. Danpatgal says:

          Warren – I looked at the UCLA report (nice report), yet figure 2 refutes your claim … showing that a BEV has just over 30k kg of CO2 emissions over it’s lifetime (1.5 battery packs to go 180k miles), while the Hybrid emits 40k kg of CO2. It’ much better than the gas car at over 60k kg CO2, but the BEV still wins.

          Did I miss something else you were referencing?

  6. Warren says:

    The sooner Musk can get those limos charging off solar, the better.

  7. Josh says:

    So did I understand this correctly, we have first hand accounts of Spark EVs on the lot, and no test drive reports!?!

    Somebody go drive this thing like you stole it, and report back ASAP.

    1. kdawg says:

      There’s probably one being disassembled in China as this very moment.

      1. Brian says:

        I almost laughed at this comment. Then I remembered how true it is, and how much that cr@p hurts our economy. Then I heaved a heavy sigh instead.

  8. kdawg says:

    I wonder if there’s a business model for just renting out Spark EVs. For $40/rental the cars could pay for themselves in about 3 years. The miles would be low due to the range. Maintenance would be minimal. I could see a bunch of these at airports. Instead of getting a taxi, just grab a fully charged Spark and drive to your hotel. At the end of your trip, drive it back to the airport. This would be cheaper than getting 2 taxi rides, and you don’t have to wait around for one, or worry about scheduling one for your return trip.

    Just thinking out loud.

    1. The Spark would be a better rental vehicle than all the other electric cars?

      1. Stuart22 says:

        Where did he say it was better, Tony? My how you Leafaholics show your true colors – “Compliance car, compliance car, compliance car…..” Sheeesh.

        1. CAMiEV says:

          Leafaholics? Not anymore. I think Tony has a RAV4 EV ;-) now…