With Chevrolet Spark EV Sales Strong, Distribution Is Now Ramping Up – DC Fast Charging Priced

4 years ago by Jay Cole 20

Californians Want More Spark EVs - GM Will Oblige

Californians Want More Spark EVs – GM Will Oblige

While selling 100-odd copies of the Chevrolet Spark EV in each of the first three months (103-Jul, 102-Aug and 78-Sept) may not seem all that “strong,” that is just the way GM expressed it us in a recent exchange with the auto maker.  A company representative also adding that “people are very excited about the car.”

Chevy Spark EV Gets DC Fast Charging In "Late December" - For Around $800 More

Chevy Spark EV (with 82 miles of EPA rated range) Gets DC Fast Charging In “Late December” – For Around $800 More

We would have to agree.  And why is that?  100 plug-ins a month doesn’t sound like very many cars.

Well, as the Spark EV is a rather small, compact electric vehicle, it would be difficult for anyone to judge how well they are going to sell ahead of time – especially given some rather poor results from other automakers, so a more measured approach to releasing the cars makes sense.

And it seems GM was of the same mind, as only a very limited number of Spark EVs have arrived at Chevy dealerships in California and Oregon since the car went into production early this year at one of GM’s facilities in South Korea.

In fact, as close as we can tell, GM has never had more than 30 days worth of inventory on hand so far.   A recent check of inventory levels confirms that there are less than 100 cars on dealers lots at time of press.

So with “strong” demand and lots of “excited” customers, what is GM’s plan going forward?  Ship more cars of course.

“We’re just ramping up re: distribution so some of that (low inventory/sales) is due to getting the product to the dealers.”

And with reports of customers looking ahead to Spark EVs equipped with DC fast chargers (which are now scheduled to arrive in late December), we took the opportunity to ask about the cost of the option after hearing estimates anywhere from $750 up to $1,100 from the local level:

“The option for DC fast charging is around $800”

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20 responses to "With Chevrolet Spark EV Sales Strong, Distribution Is Now Ramping Up – DC Fast Charging Priced"

  1. David Murray says:

    If this car starts selling well, I imagine it could be taking some sales away from Nissan. While the Leaf is arguably a better car, the Spark is cheaper and has more range. I think this will help kick Nissan into gear about upping the range on the Leaf, even if it is just 20 miles or so.

    1. Anthony says:

      Wasn’t there lots of rumors about a 2013 or 14 MY upgrade to the battery to get it up to around 91 miles range (which would put it close to the Spark in range)? Whatever happen to those rumors?

  2. Mark C says:

    If I understand, the Leaf uses a “blended” range number because Nissan recommends 80% charging for battery longevity. That said, I think the Leaf has an 84 mile range when charged to 100%. I have not seen any indication that any other manufacturers are range rating with a blended number.

    You’d have to look it up to find the specifics on how the blended figure is made up, because I just can’t do a reasonable job explaining it.

    1. David Murray says:

      I’m familiar with what you are talking about, but somebody did some real-life tests between the Leaf and Spark EV and found the Spark still had more range, possibly as much as 10 miles in real-world driving.

  3. Brian says:

    At $800, I hope that the DC port is immensely popular! I know I would pay for it, even though I may or may not have access to one in the lifetime of a MY14 car…

    Then the infrastructure providers have more incentive to start installing dual-standard chargers, and maybe the EV community as a whole can move past this whole standards war nonsense.

    GM also needs to give some indication that they will make this car more than a compliance special. I’m ok with a controlled rollout (it took over a year from launch for the Leaf to make its way to me, close to that with the Volt), but please make this car available nation-wide by the end of 2014!

    1. I would only get the car with the DC charge port. The base 3.3 kW charger would be way too slow for me. I need to charge during the day and a 6.6 is the minimum for travel safety.
      I am looking at DC charger for my office.

    2. io says:

      Another way to solve this standards war nonsense, and a much cheaper one I’d argue, would be for CCS to simply never catch on.

      Too little, too late. The faster it dies, the better for everybody.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        You just wish that b/c you have a Leaf which uses the “other standard”….

        1. io says:

          Oh gee, please try and think a little. CHAdeMO isn’t going anywhere, that’s not the problem at all.

          The problem is that this completely unnecessary made-up standards “war” is hurting EVs big time, and to a lesser extend plug-ins in general, in a lot of ways: potential drivers delay a purchase decision; infrastructure gets postponed as UL-approved multi-standard QCs still aren’t available; higher installation and maintenance costs mean less stations installed and/or wasted public funds; etc etc.

          Indirect damages of the resulting delayed EV adoption include more health spending and deaths from air pollution, increased dependence on foreign oil and related geopolitical issues, impact on environment/climate.
          As some key tech and know-how is predominantly in the US now (battery, in-wheel motors, etc), I’d furthermore argue that slow EV development would result in measurably less jobs being created or retained in the country.

          That’s why I think it matters, yes.

  4. Warren says:

    The Spark EV, with DC charging, assuming we actually had DC chargers, would be all the car anybody, but a traveling salesman, would ever need.

  5. scottf200 says:

    This car fits better in places outside of the USA until mentality change on vehicle size. Suspect the needed some CCS/Combo/DCFC to be certified/availble so they could be confident in the car being compatible. Probably holding inventory back until that could be done and they can ship with the $800 DCFC option. I bet in 2014 they will kick it up a few notches.

  6. GeorgeS says:

    How many SAE chargers are available to charge this car in Arizona and California????

    I expect the answer is around zero.

    Can Spark use Chadmeo charger with the proper adapter??

    1. David Murray says:

      I believe there is at least one.. possibly two.

      1. George B says:

        There are between half a dozen to a dozen CCS chargers, depending on how you count. Several OEMs installed a QC for testing purposes, and the first public units are now coming online too.

    2. electric-car-insider says:

      eVgo is deploying Combo/CHaDEMO chargers in California. They are legally required to have 200 in operation by the end of 2016. I spoke with Terry O’Day, the VP in charge of the project yesterday. This is going to happen, in process now.

      The first one opened in Fashion Valley mall, San Diego on Sept 30. The charge stations also support L2 J1772

      MOD EDIT: info added-date changed request

  7. cmg186 says:

    Jay,

    Is there any word on if/when the Spark ev will be available in Ontario, Canada?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Well, if you are fleet you can get them in 2014…however GM has made no commitment to make them publically available:

      We did a story on that awhile back actually if you want to check it out

      1. cmg186 says:

        Thanks! That’s really too bad… I suppose I’ll have to look at a heavily discounted i-Miev as a second car instead. 🙁

  8. Eric says:

    I bought a Chevy Spark EV here in California and I am very happy with it. There was one on the dealer’s lot and I was happy to take it. Perfect for around town driving. I expect my $2,500 check from Sacramento (actually, it will be sent from San Diego for some reason) in the next couple of weeks. Good times!